The modern world tends to live in the future. And when you’re not in the future (trying to get noticed or running after something) you’re relieving your past. If you are always frustrated by your hectic life schedule, maybe you need to schedule a few internal meetings? These five easy mindfulness practices will help you to be fully engaged in the present, attending to what happens in the moment, engaged, in control and at peace.
1. Slow Down and Notice
Pause what you’re doing and let your shoulders relax while and simply take in whatever is around you in this moment. You will be surprised how much better you feel. Create space internally so that you can better focus on what you’re doing – from work to being with family. It is hard to remember to take these pauses in everyday life, so try to use viual cues or schedule in mindfulness mini breaks to help make this practice a useful habit.
2. Practice Mindful Eating
Enjoy your food by chewing it properly. Chewing breaks down your food into small particles for proper digestion. Eat food for nourishing your body only. Recognize your non-hunger triggers to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating. Do not upset your digestive system by eating more. It will have harmful effects on your body.
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3. The 4, 7, 8 Breathing technique
This short-term fix for stress and anxiety (and to help you sleep) can immediately tame the fight-or-flight response misfiring in your brain, cool your body’s inflammatory response to all those stress hormones, and halt anxiety or panic by using a simple breathing technique. The technique has 4 easy steps, as follows;
1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
2. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
3. Release your breath from your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of 8.
4. Without a break, breathe in again for a count of 4, repeating the entire technique 3-4 times in a row, then resume normal breathing and activity.
The 4 7 8 breathing technique works because when you are stressed out, your breathing becomes very shallow. People who experience long-term, chronic stress are often chronically under-breathing and are in a constant state of mild hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.
In addition, under-breathing can lead to a build up of excess carbon dioxide in your tissues, which contributes to oxidative stress, inflammation and acidification in your body—the foundations for disease.
4. Start your day without any gadgets
What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed each morning? If you check phone, you are not alone. Many people start their day by checking their phones. Instead of checking office emails or the notifications of your social media profiles, take out some time for meditation. Plan out your whole day in a systematic manner. Don’t make any excuses and shift your focus towards this wonderful and productive exercise.
5. Pause for a Cup of Tea
This is another practice I bring up often because I believe the act of slowing down to make tea (or even coffee or hot cocoa) can become an act of nourishing ourselves that brings us right into this moment. When you make your cup of tea, even if you’re just heating water in a microwave, try to really slow down and notice your senses. Breathing and being right here, giving yourself this gift of something to warm your body.