While the practice of mindfulness meditation is the most powerful way to achieve complete inner stillness, you don’t have to stop what you are doing and close your eyes to experience the benefits of mindfulness. Try some of these mindfulness activities and you will soon discover that you have the ability to infuse your daily life with stillness and peace, to convert the most mundane tasks into enriching, serene experiences.
You can find peace in every-day moments. Mindful actions are the key.
As I mentioned earlier in this article on mindfulness, most of them time we live our lives on "autopilot". Our minds seem to have a will of their own. Thoughts come and go, and it seems as though we don’t have much say in what thoughts turn up in our head.
When we are not mindful of our thoughts, they skip from one unfinished idea to the next, constantly interrupting each other and overlapping in a constant stream of pictures, ideas, memories and desires.
Children are free from much of this mental chatter and they are not burdened by the responsibilities of adulthood that we all know so well. To a young child the world is full of newness, fascination and wonderment. In some ways, practicing mindfulness is like reclaiming the pure, simple awareness that you had in your youth.
These mindfulness activities will help you to appreciate your life more completely. They'll help you to free your mind and renew the way you experience your life. With this in mind, here are some easy mindfulness activities for you to try.
This mindfulness activity is definitely the tastiest of them all! It involves nothing more than eating a meal. HOWEVER, there are some do’s and don’ts that will turn this into a technique for mindfulness and not just any old meal.
No gobbling! Eat slowly and deliberately. Mindful eating means paying full attention to each piece of food you select to eat, how it looks, how it smells, how you cut the food, the muscles you use to raise it to your mouth, the texture and taste of the food as you chew it slowly. Be absorbed by the experience.
If possible, avoid engaging in any other activities. Put away the newspaper or book. Turn off the TV or radio, and remain quiet whenever you enjoy your mindful meals!
You will be amazed at how much more enjoyable food can be when eaten in this way and how much more fulfilling a meal can be. Eating this way also happens to be very good for your digestion.
Remember, the purpose of mindfulness is to bring you into the present moment, and to quiet your mind. The whole point of mindful eating is to dedicate your attention to the experience of eating, leaving no room for mental chatter. This is a meditation on the present moment and the present moment consists of you eating a meal...nothing more. If your mind wanders off, then bring your attention back to the experience of eating. Be with the moment throughout your mindful meal.
When was the last time you REALLY listened to the sounds that are taking place around you?
Well stop whatever you are doing and get ready to listen mindfully...follow me over to this simple mindful listening exercise and experience mindful listening for yourself.
Mindful listening is one of the most powerful ways to connect with the whole concept of mindfulness, and it's one of the best ways to expand the sensation of silence within you, whilst dissolving all that noise in your mind!
The same principles apply to mindful walking as they do to mindful listening and eating. In this mindful activity, you simply bring your full attention to the simple act of walking.
With this mindfulness technique, you become consciously aware of and absorbed in the movement of your body as you walk.
Concentrate on the feel of the ground under your feet, or your breathing as you travel. Observe what is going on around you in the world, you don’t have to try and ignore or blot out anything. Just observe everything that you experience, staying in the present moment as you do so. If thoughts pop up, just let them go and return your awareness to the walk.
The great thing about this activity is that you can practice it any time you walk, at a moment’s notice. On your coffee break, on your way to the subway, in short trips from one room to another - anytime you are walking.
Any activity you can think of can be used as a focal point for mindfulness training. Just allow the activity to be your anchor to the present moment.
Even the most mundane, everyday habit can be transformed into a mindful activity that comes alive with newness, presence and power when you practice mindfulness, and you can engage in mindfulness exercises anytime. The secret is to place all your attention on what it is that you are doing. Be completely in the now.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”
Henry David Thoreau
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
Click here for more quotes on mindfulness.