These practices are meant to enhance your presence and participation in the whole of your life everyday. They also work when you are so flustered you bump into the coffee table that has been in the same place for 3 years or you can’t get that quarrel with a colleague out of your head.
- Drink your morning coffee without sugar if you are used to it, or skim milk instead of cream. This would work with tea just as well.
- When you have to wait for something (grocery line, picking up the kids etc.) breath consciously. Feel the air pull through your nose into your lungs and slowly exhale
- When sitting at your desk become aware of the subtle signs of physical tension and take a break to stretch or walk around.
- On your way to work or school, pay attention to how you walk or drive or ride the public transit. Take some deep breaths, relaxing throughout your body.
- Be your own Star Chef and savor a bite of your lunch or dinner, pay attention to the scent, look, texture and taste of the first bite of your meal.
- Keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings. The goal isn’t to create literature, but to observe, so don’t mind repetition. Repetition weaves the threads in life together.
- When washing the dishes be aware of each act and element involved, the warmth of the water, the smell of the soap, the feel of sponge.
- If someone offers their opinion of you today, smile and say, “thanks for sharing.” If it is negative, let the umbrella of your life divert any hurt feelings away. If it is positive, silently give credit where credit is due to you and in the fine spirit within.
- Wear a rubber band around your wrist and when you feel yourself getting swept up and away, snap it, take a deep breath, listen to the sounds around you and then move on.
- As you go to sleep, let go of today and tomorrow, and take some slow, mindful breaths.
Practice these exercises while following the main elements of mindfulness, combining awareness of your breath with focusing on the activity at hand, you will be able to experience every moment as fully as possible.