Most people know that the primary path to mindfulness – or at least the most commonly prescribed practice – is meditation. There is no shortage of resources, online and in books, to help people approach mindfulness through meditation.
But what about other ways to work mindfulness into your daily routine?
While meditation is undoubtedly beneficial, it isn’t the only way to promote centredness, relaxation, awareness and focus. In this post, let’s venture beyond meditation and offer four more tips for working mindfulness into your day-to-day rituals.
Start the Day with a Lion’s Mane Tea Ceremony
You don’t have to embark on this mindfulness journey alone; it’s a particularly western form of thinking to assume that you have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps independently. It’s absolutely fine to get a little help from nature!
Eastern medicinal practitioners have leveraged the spiritual benefits of lion’s mane for centuries – perhaps longer – to promote focus and relaxation. And modern studies show that lion’s mane can be a powerful “nootropic,” encouraging peak cognitive performance.
Start your day with a lion’s mane tea ceremony. Stir lion’s mane powder into hot water, and deliberately, mindfully, stir and savour the drink.
Keep a Journal
At its core, mindfulness is about self-awareness: being aware of one’s thoughts, emotions, and attachments. One of the best ways to tap into this self-knowledge is keeping a journal.
Every night (or morning – whatever works for your schedule!), record your thoughts. Be as honest as you can possibly be as you describe what you thought and felt over the past 24 hours. This simple act of thinking and recording will force you to recognize and evaluate your thought patterns. Positive Psychology has an excellent list of mindfulness journal prompts to get you started.
Name Your Inner Critic
Here’s a little trick used by some mental health professionals to compartmentalize negative thoughts: give your inner critic a name!
Psychologists maintain that naming one’s inner critic can help you create a barrier of awareness between you and your negative thoughts. For instance, you can name your inner critic “Fred”! Next time you criticize yourself for performing poorly at work or saying the wrong thing in a social situation, kindly tell Fred that his opinion isn’t necessary.
Savour Your Commute, Chores and Meals
Too often, when people think of “meditation,” they conjure an image of sitting cross-legged in a perfectly quiet room. But life can be noisy and busy sometimes. How do you think a monk or yogi deals with the everyday chaos of life on earth?
Here’s the secret: meditation isn’t a practice; it’s a state of mind. You can take it anywhere. Meditation simply asks that you pay attention and savour the sensory information the world presents to you. Next time you ride the bus, scrub the kitchen or make pasta in your kitchen, pay attention to where your mind drifts. Bring it back to the present – to the senses, the motions and the breath that you are currently experiencing.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to sit still for a half-hour each day. Work these mindfulness tips into your daily routine to encourage relaxation, focus and clarity.