How to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday

posted by Chris Valentine

Life can get busy. Really busy. Often it becomes a struggle to juggle family, friends, work, paying bills, and other commitments. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted is a common complaint of many and two meager days on the weekend is little help in the need to rest and recuperate. And when there is a moment to rest in silence, this is when are thoughts and worries can become overpowering with incessant mental chatter. This may be a good reason why so many people keep themselves busy, as a distraction from negative thinking. However, negative thoughts are common and properly practiced mindfulness is about recognizing and embracing both the good and bad in order to improve. 

There is a category of Mindfulness that involves a more meditative approach. This requires the person to allocate a certain portion of their day, 10 to 30 minutes or more, to find a quiet spot and focus on their thoughts. Becoming mindful of what they are thinking and how they feel in their body nurtures a greater understanding of the self. Some meditative approaches include a ‘body scan’ whereby the person visualizes each part of their body – from head to toe, while other strategies simply allow the person to notice thoughts or pains. By practicing mindfulness, the person can handle stressful situations with a more measured and relaxed response rather than an explosive reaction. There are even Kindergarten or primary school teachers that are including Mindfulness and meditation in the classroom to create more attentive and well-behaved school children. Learning mindfulness at an early age can prove an extremely beneficial skill and mindset later on in life. 

The other part of Mindfulness can incorporate mindful activities into everyday routines. These activities are particularly those that have the ability to be immersive. Getting lost in a page turning book is incredibly therapeutic as reading is one of the ways to tune out the noise and stress by becoming engaged with characters and another world different from our own. This same magic can be found in watching a great movie or TV series as well as listening to music. Listening to particular songs trigger certain emotions, whether from a relaxing classical music piece or nostalgic songs from many years ago. When listening to music or reading a novel, for instance, mindfulness can be practiced by paying attention to all the sounds in the song or the word choice in a book. Even enjoying a meal can involve being mindful of the different tastes, texture, and appearance of the food. A greater awareness leads to revelations that someone may never have thought of before and this, in turn, creates a greater appreciation. Appreciation leads to directly to a better quality of life because the many details, that are often deemed trivial, become important and are no longer taken granted for. It is similar to appreciating being healthy after spending a few days in bed with a bad cold or the flu. Life goes fast and mindfulness is about taking the time to admire moments, people, nature, yourself, and life overall. 

There are also a number of games that can incorporate mindfulness. Speaking of exercise, playing sports is another opportunity to be mindful. Many successful athletes rely on visualizing their strategies and victory before starting the game in order to get in the right mindset. During gameplay there can also be stressful moments, such as scoring a clinch point to win the game or when all eyes are on the player. A mindful approach helps handle anxiety in these situations and can be applied both on and off the court. Online games can also be great for increasing focus and distracting from negative thoughts. In particular, there are many online casino sites like Late Casino with exciting slot games that can benefit mindfulness in your routine. These slots are not only fun and relaxing, with a variety of themes, but also easy to pick up and have bonus rounds or features that offer chances to win real money. There are meditative slot games such as Red Tiger’s ‘Gemtastic’, NetEnt’s ‘Beach’, and Eyecon’s ‘Crystal Lotus’, that are great for getting into a relaxed mood. These slot games can be played on all devices, such as mobile, so that players can wind down at any time of the day and anywhere they may be. 

Exercise is another strategy that can include mindfulness given a set time is dedicated for a person’s health. Rather than simply running on a treadmill or lifting weights, a mindful individual pays close attention to how their body responds to different movements and/or stretches. There are many of those that spend their entire exercise regimen playing over stressful thoughts, rather than being present in the moment. This leads to bad form and not noticing when damage is being done to the body or where certain exercises can be improved. Taking a walk each day is also conducive for mindful meditation. Whether you are used to taking the same path each day or taking different routes, pay attention to what you notice. This can be from the animals, to the sounds of the leaves in the tree, any smells, the appearance of the sky, to the people passing. The more detailed, the better. Even noticing what the breeze feels like on your face. This hyper observation places you into a higher level of awareness that makes turns what is usually a standard (even boring walk) into one filled with fresh experiences.  

Mindfulness exercises also impacts sleep and diet. Many cannot get to sleep because of wandering and worrying thoughts in their mind. Practicing meditation to calm the mind and breathing routines help bring on sleep. Further, the classic phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is accurate. By paying attention to what is on the plate, forces you to notice the portion size and the type of food. Many who mindfully eat also remark on how the food taste better because they simply savour every bite rather than just gobble it down. 

Taking a step back and accepting any thoughts or feelings you may have is progress when it comes to mindfulness. Whether daily mindful activities involve exercise, reading, music, or even playing online slot games, you will notice how both body and mind become healthier and happier sooner than expected.

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