If integrating mindfulness techniques seems foreign … here are a few simple daily practices. The emphasis here is on daily practices to hardwire this new good habits. Looking after your deep inner world will certainly determine the quality of your outer world! Before you choose which techniques resonate with you take into account that our brains respond better to short bursts of mindfulness.
We often chat about the gold standard being 20 mins a day. However, that’s not an easy way to begin. Rather start with developing a few tiny new habits to get you going. The trick here is to polish the diamond of your third inner world DAILY!
Here are a two simple, yet powerful suggestions:
- Resist opening your eyes and kissing your cell phone good morning
A mindfulness practice first thing in the morning sets the tone for your day. Start with a ‘micro-activity’ like getting out of bed and lying on your bedroom floor to do a breathing exercise for literally one tiny, short minute. Build up to three minutes, five and perhaps 20 minutes won’t seem that out of reach.
How? Breathe-in to the count of 4, hold to the count of 7 and breathe-out to the count of 8. Do this 4 times.
- Pick other ‘regular moments’ in your day as triggers for another micro activity of mindfulness
These moments become cues for your brain to shift into a mindful mode … even if for just one or two minutes. Think of this as using your windscreen wipers while driving. Your thoughts, queries and concerns can accumulate and clutter your brain, giving you the sense of having brain fog. Often we aren’t really aware that we are not as brain fit and clear minded as we could be. Like dust, particles and raindrops on a windscreen clutter the glass but we only really realise how much after we’ve cleaned the windscreen again.
Think of a few regular moments during your day that you can clean and clear your windscreen, to reset for the next hour or two. Here are my moments, beside the one that kick-starts my day on my bedroom floor:
- After I reverse out my driveway, I hesitate and breathe deeply (using the breathing technique) before I drive to my clients.
- I “reset”; stand still and feel my toes while I am waiting in the reception area in corporate offices.
- Something else to note about waiting rooms: we are often asked to ‘go and take a seat’. I prefer to rather stand. We sit for hours in our car and in meetings. Rather stand in the reception area, relax your shoulders and jaw and use your mindfulness breathing to be present, in the moment and alert before your meeting.
- EVERY single bathroom break. Take those two minutes to close your eyes and give yourself a mini windscreen wipe: a break from all the visual stimulus of the day that can clutter your brain!