It happens to all of us. We begin our day with some morning coffee and out of nowhere a thought pops up: “I have so much to do today!”. One thought with many emotions attached to it – frustration, stress, and worry! What happened to just enjoying that morning coffee?
Mindfulness is a skill that allows us to be present in the moment and to break free from the emotional attachment that we place on many thoughts. We do this by having a neutral observation of our thoughts.
Here are three simple ways to incorporate mindfulness daily:
1. Coffee or tea: Take note of how the drink smells. Is it strong? Do you enjoy smelling it? How does the mug feel when you hold it in your hand? How does the warm liquid feel when you are swallowing? You are experiencing everything that is happening in regards to drinking the beverage.
2. Listen to your favorite song: Take a moment and actively listen to it. What are the lyrics of the song? What is the tempo? How many different instruments can you hear? Does your body feel like moving to the song? Experience the moment of listening.
3. Deep breathing: Take a deep breath in through your nose and feel your lungs expanding. Then hold that breath and take in the experience. Slowly let the air out through your mouth. How does it feel when your release air after holding it? Experience how it makes your body relax when taking deep breaths.
I guarantee that during these practices different thoughts will pop up, and that’s ok, just notice the thought in a neutral way and bring yourself back to the mindfulness task. Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress, depression, and improve memory.
There are many different ways of being mindful throughout your daily life. Have you ever tried a mindfulness exercise? What did you think of the experience?
Author: Melissa Sauder, LPC
Melissa is a licensed professional counselor who loves helping women learn to empower themselves so they can lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Her therapy is spending time with her dog, a labradoodle named Sammy.