In our modern era, the balance between daily commitments and the constant barrage of modern communications can sometimes blur our connection with the present moment.
Mindfulness is the gentle endeavour of being fully in the moment, recognising and appreciating both our inner world – thoughts, feelings, sensations – and external environment. It is observation without judgment.
This practice is not about pushing for a particular state of mind but rather cultivating a happy and meaningful life. Research indicates that mindfulness-based treatments can help alleviate anxiety, temper depression, regulate blood pressure, and promote better sleep.
While the concept of carving out blocks of 20 or 30-minute meditations may seem daunting in our busy lives, it doesn’t have to be. Mindfulness can be practised anytime and anywhere. Short moments of mindfulness, or micro-practices, can be integrated throughout the day.
Here are seven simple practices to weave mindfulness into a daily routine:
Before diving into work emails or checking your phone each morning, pause to set a clear intention and envision how you’d like your day to unfold. For example, simple affirmations could be, “Today, I will be kind to myself”, “Today, I will be patient with others”, “Today, I will eat well”, or anything else that feels important.
During the day, spare a quiet moment to tune in to your physical self. What do you notice and observe? Bringing attention to your body can help with realignment and connection.
Whenever you feel adrift, gently guide your attention to your breath. Notice if it is shallow or deep. Take a few deep breaths and focus on being present with each inhalation and exhalation. Repeat multiple times during the day.
Embrace the world around you. Whether a fleeting smile from a passer-by, a beautiful flower on the wayside, the breeze in your hair. Practise this during walks or hikes, or simply by sitting outdoors.
Allow meals to be an experience. Remove distractions from the digital realm, and relish the interplay of flavours, aromas, and textures. This simple practice can help tune in with the body and understand what it needs.
Next time you have a conversation, engage by listening actively and putting all your attention on the other person. Eye contact, a genuine smile, understanding and empathy can transform ordinary chats into heartfelt exchanges.
As the day winds down, take a moment to reflect on achievements and successes of the day. Pen down a few lines in a gratitude journal or practise gratitude meditation.
Mindfulness is one of the key focus wellbeing pillars at Banyan Tree Veya, where we offer a wide range of mindfulness practices. One of our signature activities is Mindful Walking Meditation.