The hassles of your hectic lifestyle combined with modern trends such as the rise of social media keep you from living your present life. It becomes easy to lose your center. This means losing your balance and feeling like you are not in control of your life.
The world begins to look chaotic and simple tasks start to become unmanageable. You realize you need to recenter.
The best way to do that is through mindfulness, the practice of meditation.
But, with your busy schedule, it seems like an impossibility. You just can’t seem to find a convenient time to do it without sacrificing important tasks in your to-do-lists.
Turning an Ordinary Activity into a Meditation Practice
Here are simple tips that you can do to turn meditation into a habit while getting things done:
1. Apply Mindfulness in Mindless House chores
House chores are often deemed as boring activities. These are tasks that you would not volunteer to do if you had a choice.
But, you need to get them done to live a functional life. So how do you do these tasks while trying to be zen?
The answer might not be easy but it is simple.
You should concentrate on what you are doing and get out of your head. Yes, you heard it right. For instance, when washing the dishes. Instead of ruminating on your problems you can focus on your senses. Doing that is already a practice of meditation.
Shift your attention to the size of the object you are holding. Observe its texture. How does it feel in your hands? How about the smell? Notice the aroma. Concentrate on the collision of sounds. The running water as it glides with the plates and utensils. Note the little noises created in the process.
2. Walk with Awareness
Life requires us to get to places. Walking is a pretty ordinary activity. It may look dull and you often want to get it over with but it can actually become a pleasurable hobby.
The next time you go for a walk you can try and follow these tips. Focus on your steps and observe one foot getting ahead of the other. Notice your breathing. Does it synchronize with your breath? How about your surroundings? There is a lot of things that draw your attention. Focus on that. What colors do you see? What sounds does the world create? Is there a pattern in the movements of things around you?
By bringing awareness to what was previously deemed as a mundane task, you can give a new definition to walking. It doesn’t only take you where you want to go but is also an act of mindfulness.
Studies show that the major reason people try meditation is that it reduces stress. It is also proven to alleviate psychological stresses such as depression and anxiety. This shows how beneficial meditation is. If you do it along with such simple activities like walking, you will see huge benefits. It does well not only for your physical health but as well as your mental and emotional well-being.
3. Exercise as an Act of Mindfulness
If exercise is part of your daily regimen then this shouldn’t be hard for you. Exercise puts you in a state of awareness of your body. In a way, it is like meditation. Putting these two together means doubling your effort but it guarantees twice the benefit.
Catching yourself thinking and bringing that awareness back to your present activity is one way to do this. Do not allow yourself to get lost in thoughts. Try this over and over again until you master your concentration.
4. Be Present in Conversations
Have you ever talked to someone and realized you’re not actually listening? Are you simply waiting for your turn to speak? This is the right time to change that. How do you bring life to your conversations?
According to award-winning life and business coach Naomi Arnold, the most important tip in making conversations is to resist the urge to interrupt a person when he/she is talking. This is also a practice of listening. Listening requires mindfulness. Instead of waiting for your turn to speak, pay attention to the thoughts of the person you are talking to. Notice his/her body language as well. A simple conversation can become a practice of meditation. In doing so you can change the quality of all the conversations you engage with anyone. At the same time, you can establish better relationships with the people around you.
The biggest lesson for you to learn here is there is a way to squeeze meditation in your tight schedule. This is by turning those workloads into meditation practices. This means there’s no other way but to do them together.
Despite the many benefits promised by meditation, there is more to it. It is important that you enjoy the process and not only focus on what you can get out of it. Do it because it is a practice of being alive.
In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn,
“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”
Meditation is the art of witnessing your life unfold in front of you. Do it not for the benefits but to practice living every moment of it to the fullest.
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