When people first think mindfulness the first image that comes to mind? Probably this one.
And meditating is a HUGE part of mindfulness.
There’s also so much more than that.
Sure, there’s the sit down formal practice like The Welcome Mat practice that I teach. But there’s also the informal practice like a mindful eating practice. Really though, any time you are engaging in an activity mindfully you’re practicing mindfulness.
I teach these informal practices alongside the more formal ones because we want to take all the goodies we create on the mat and bring them to every moment of our lives.
Stuck in traffic? Practice being aware and present in the moment. Notice that you’re getting frustrated and angry? Lay out the welcome mat and allow it these feelings to just be.
The more we practice mindfulness in these moments, the more we start to notice that we’re not getting as caught up in our doubts and worries about the future.
This past year has been a challenge for myself just like everyone else. It’s in these moments that I rely on my mindfulness practice to guide me through.
When I’m binge watching something on Netflix (currently re-watching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time) mindfulness helps me to check in at the end of the episode so that I consciously choose whether I want to watch the next episode or get up and do something else.
Mindfulness also helps me to stay focused when I’m working so that I don’t end up distracted and attempting to complete 10 different tasks at once. I focus on the one (like this blog post) and anything and everything else can wait until later. When I’m focused and not distracted I’m actually able to get more things done and in a quicker time period because I’m not constantly getting distracted by shiny object syndrome. Which means I don’t have to constantly shift my mind back and forth between activities.
When I do get interrupted in the middle of a task? I use mindfulness to help me to shift my focus to the interruption, to notice what thoughts and feelings come up for me, and to then shift back to what I was doing.
Simple? Yes. Easy? Not so much. No one is mindful all the time, myself included, and I have definitely spent the occasional night vegged out in front of the tv watching too many episodes and paid the consequences the next day. Especially this last year.
One of my favourite things about mindfulness is that it teaches us all that time that we can begin again. Today I mindlessly watched too many episodes in a row. Tomorrow I can begin again and mindfully watch GG on Netflix.
How do you do an activity mindfully? You just need to bring your 5 senses to whatever it is that you’re doing.
Here’s a quick rundown to show you how that I shared on my Instagram recently.