5 Ways to Practise Mindfulness in Daily Life – By Yun Ng
Mindfulness may not come easy, but just like how we can train our muscles in the gym, we too can train our ability to be mindful through consistent practice in our everyday lives. For meditation newbies who are inspired to start a meditation practice, it may be unsettling to simply plonk down on a cushion and close your eyes. The practice of mindfulness is therefore an easier and more accessible place to start.
Here are the suggestions:
1. Mindfulness in eating
Most of us eat with too many distractions around us, sometimes out of habit. Some of us ‘decompress’ from a hard day at work by jumping on the sofa and watching the television with dinner in our hands. When we eat with friends and family, we talk while we eat, so much so that when we eat alone, we feel like we need to find other distractions, like playing with our smart phones or reading books.
Why can’t we simply eat? At your next meal, try focusing on what you are eating, and eat like you are eating for the first time! As you pick up the food, notice the smells and colours. As you put the food in your mouth, notice the sensations on your tongue and how your saliva starts to break down the food. Count the number of times you chew and see if you can chew 50 times every bite.
2. Active listening
Active listening means to be being fully present. Focus your awareness on what is being conversed to you, and listen without filters or judgment. Resist the urge to formulate your responses, or on what to say as feedback or advice, especially when your friend is in the middle of a sentence. Listen, be receptive and make eye contact.
3. Mindful observation
Instead of playing games on your smart phone, try this. Find an object around you and begin to observe it. Really look and spend at least one minute here as you take in its shapes and lines. It could be as simple as a towel or it could even be someone you know. Can you see it/him/her in a way you have never seen before?
An experiment you can also try with a partner or a good friend is to look into each other’s eyes for two full minutes. You will be surprised at what you start to ‘see’.
4. 10-minute morning ritual
Avoid the morning rush by getting up 10 minutes earlier than you normally would. Use this extra time to move slow, set an intention or just simply sit and enjoy a cup of tea. You can use this time to meditate too.
5. Spend more time in nature
When we look at a sunset on the horizon, we do not say: “Maybe if we shift those clouds over there, it will look more beautiful.” We look and enjoy what nature has gifted us, without any judgment and with full presence. In nature, we naturally develop mindfulness and tend to pay a little bit more attention to what is around us.
Yun Ng is a dedicated yogini who treats yoga practice like her best friend. Believing in the power of mantra led her to embrace the transformative practice of the 8 limbed path in many faucets of her life.
This article originally appeared at http://homyoga.com/lifestyle/. Yun is conducting 10 minute meditation sessions (#TenToZen) during the month of May (2015) at noon. You may view Hom Yoga’s MindBodySoul’s page to book slots.