Updated: Dec 30, 2022
When you think about mindfulness, you probably imagine sitting still with your legs crossed for hours on end.
Mindfulness isn’t just about sitting still, though.
It’s about being present in your life, moment to moment. And it can be as simple as taking a mindful shower or going for a walk without distractions. There are many ways to sneak in mindful moments throughout your day.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, being present can help alleviate those feelings. If you’re too busy to take a break from your daily routine, try sneaking in mindful moments as often as you can. The more you practice it, the easier it will become.
Table of Contents
8. Take a Walk
How to sneak in mindful moments throughout your day:
1. Wake Up Early
It is helpful to wake up early (or earlier then others in your house 😉) to get a head start on your day. Waking up early gives you more time to focus your energy on things that are important to you without distractions.
Waking up early enough to incorporate your morning routine is ideal. This is a good way to start your day on the right foot. Your morning routine can be five minutes or an hour, and five minutes it is more You can spend some time in nature or by yourself, which will help you feel refreshed and less stressed when you start your day.
If you wake up feeling stressed and anxious about the time, you are more likely to feel this way throughout the day. Wake up early and make it a priority, so you can take your time and make your day the way you want it to be.
2. Do a Body Scan
Take a moment to close your eyes and feel your body. Start with your toes and slowly move up to your calves. Feel how heavy or light each part of your body feels.
Then move up to your thighs, hips, and stomach area. Next, feel all the way up to the top of your head. This will help you notice any physical tension or discomfort that may be present in certain areas.
Pay attention to your breathing during the body scan. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the physical sensations you are feeling in each part of your body. This is a very simple relaxation technique, but it can help you feel calmer and more present.
Doing a body scan in the morning can help transition your mind from sleep to wakefulness.
3. Reduce the Background Noise
Try to shut up the background noise in your house. This means turning off your phone, especially if you don't have any important calls to make. Turn off the TV, too, if you don't even watch the news attentively.
The more you can eliminate this kind of noise in your house, the better. Avoiding multitasking is another way to reduce background noise—it's hard enough to be present when you focus on one thing, let alone three or four.
4. Take a Warm Bath
A warm bath is one of the most relaxing, soothing, and calming things you can do for yourself in the morning. Not only does it clean your body, but it also helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Bathing is also very meditative and can help you get into a state of flow where time seems to stop. This can be especially helpful if you're feeling overwhelmed by the day ahead or are just generally stressed out.
You can take a bath however long you like — a few minutes to an hour. It all depends on how much time you have and how much you want to relax. The important thing is to feel clean and refreshed.
Be mindful also while brushing your teeth. You can do this by taking your time and being aware of the sensation of each toothbrush stroke. Focus on how clean your mouth feels as you brush.
If you've been neglecting your journal lately, now's the time to start again. Journaling helps you reflect on your day and find ways to improve it.
It also makes it easy for you to focus on the things that happened in your life lately and helps you be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Journaling can help you gain insight into what's going on in your life, which can help you make better decisions about how to proceed.
Writing down everything makes it easier to develop a routine, because there are fewer things left forgotten by accident or out of laziness (which sometimes happens if we're tired).
If journaling is something new, start with a few minutes a day. It's important not to feel pressured when writing; if it takes less than five minutes, then so be it.
6. Schedule a Mindfulness Minute
Set aside time to practice mindfulness, even just for a minute. Choose a specific time of day to ensure you don't forget and make it a habit. It doesn't have to be long, but it needs to be regular.
It could be first thing in the morning before you start your day or right before bed at night. You might even try doing it during a break at work. Some people find that mindfulness helps them focus more on tasks (and enjoy their jobs more).
Remember that mindfulness is about awareness, so don't worry too much about how long your minutes are—just make sure you're focusing as much as possible on the present moment.
Follow along to this video for a mindful minute exercise you can use to practice being mindful.
7. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a way to enjoy your food and appreciate it more. It's also an easy way to bring mindfulness into your daily routine. Try these tips:
Eat slowly - Chew each bite thoroughly and enjoy your food. Sometimes you eat too fast, which means your brain isn't fully engaged with what you're consuming. Eating slowly will help you savor the flavor of your meal and make you feel fuller faster.
Focus on the food - Focusing on each bite lets you appreciate how much effort went into making that meal for you. Sometimes if you are too distracted while eating, you may eat more than you need because your brain isn't fully engaged.
Eat until you're 80% full - this Japanese tradition in Okinawa helps control eating habits . People in Okinawa tend to have lower rates of illness and longer life expectancies. Eating until you are 80% full will also leave some room for fluids or treats you may want to eat later.
Eat with your five senses - Try to focus on how your food looks, smells, and tastes. You will probably enjoy it more when you do this.
8. Take a Walk
Walking is one of the best ways to take in the world around you and clear your head. It's also a great way to get in some exercise, which can help you sleep better at night.
Walking can also be a meditation practice: when you walk mindfully without distractions or judgment, you are present with each step you take on your journey. By focusing on this one task—walking—and being fully aware of your surroundings, it's easier to see things from a different perspective.
Walking is also a great way to connect to nature. Being surrounded by greenery and a natural environment can help you feel more grounded and connected with the world around you.
9. Breathe While Waiting
Try to take deep breaths while waiting. When waiting for the green light to turn or your food to be served, take a moment and breathe.
Breathing also naturally slows down your heart rate and calms you down. This is especially helpful if you are frustrated or angry because of how long the light took to change.
This will also train you to be more patient. Try to take deep breaths and focus on your breath; it's not the situation that made you upset in the first place. And the waiting will not pass faster if you get angry or frustrated.
If you're feeling particularly stressed out, try counting from 1-5 as you inhale and exhale—this will ensure that each breath lasts longer than a few seconds.
10. Observe Your Surroundings
The next time you're outside, take a moment to look at the sky. Notice the color of the clouds and how they move across the vast expanse above you.
Listen to all of the sounds around you—the wind whistling through branches, birds chirping and flying overhead, even traffic or construction nearby, if that's what you're hearing.
Smell what's in the air right now. Is there a hint of rain on it? Or is it filled with smog?
Feel how warm or cold your skin is against your clothing as well as against any surfaces that may be touching it (such as sitting in the grass).
These are all things we tend to ignore as we go through our daily lives. But if you stop and pay attention for a moment, you will feel more present at that moment. And that's a good feeling.
11. Listen Without Interrupting
When listening to someone, try not to rush, judge, or make assumptions about what they are saying. It's not always easy, but try just to listen.
If you have a question, wait until the person has finished talking, and then ask it. This will help you stay in the moment rather than miss out on what they say because your mind is racing ahead of them.
Also, try to engage only in meaningful conversations that make you feel good and are not just about the latest celebrity gossip. This will help take less mental load off your mind and help you process only the things that matter.
12. Focus on One Task at a Time
Multitasking is a myth. You cannot truly multitask, and when you try to do so, you end up doing a mediocre job at everything. Instead of multitasking, focus on one task at a time and embrace it. It's better to do one thing well than several things half-assedly.
Make sure that you don't switch between tasks without giving yourself enough time to fully finish what needs doing before moving on to another activity. Don't overdo it by taking on too many tasks at once; instead, set reasonable goals for yourself (and stick with them).
Too much going on at once will mess with your mindfulness and make you feel overwhelmed. Don't worry about the future too much —most of the time, it's out of your control.
13. Relax During Breaks
Taking a break is not synonymous with being lazy. In fact, it's important to take breaks throughout the day because they give your brain and body time to refresh.
And while this may seem like an obvious thing to do when you feel tired or stressed out, people rarely stop and actually relax during their breaks at work.
It is called a 'break' for a reason. So don't worry about the tasks you will do later; you have an assigned time for that.
14. Clean Your Surroundings
How often do you clean your home or workspace?
It's a good idea to keep it as clean and organized as possible because this will help you focus better. If you have too much stuff lying around or an unorganized desk drawer, it will be hard for you to concentrate.
So take some time out of your day to organize your surroundings and make them more appealing. This will also help your productivity because it allows you to find what you need at first glance rather than searching for hours on end.
Cleaning can also help you to take some moments of mindfulness. It takes your mind off the day's problems and allows you to focus on something simpler.
15. Plan Your Tomorrow
The day is almost over, but you can still make the most of it by planning your tomorrow. Take some time to plan out what needs to be done and how much time it will take.
This will help ensure that you get everything done in a timely manner while also leaving room for fun and relaxation.
16. Cleanse Out All the Negativities
Before you end your day, clear out all the negativity that may have built up during the day. If you felt stressed or a co-worker annoyed you, take some time to get rid of those feelings.
This will help you to start your day fresh the next day, without any negative thoughts or emotions weighing you down. This will also help you sleep better, as you won’t have to worry about those feelings lingering in the back of your mind.
What to do next?
Now that you've read through ways to incorporate mindful moments in your daily life, it's time to put them into action. Try one or two in the next few days and see how it goes.
Remember that you don't have to do them all at once. Start small with these simple mindful moments, and you'll be surprised at how much they can improve your life.
Remember that mindfulness doesn't have to be complicated—it just means taking the time out of your day to pause, reflect on what's happening around you, and appreciate what makes life so great.
About the Author
Co-Author: Irish Doton
Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.
Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!