Simple Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into your Daily Life
Mindfulness practice is about returning to the present moment. It can happen during a stroll outside, when you’re washing dishes, or when you’re scrolling through the news. It’s just noticing what you’re doing in the present moment without judgment. We have highlighted some self-soothing techniques from GrowSpace founder & USP therapist, Katie Krimer, for easy ways to practice mindfulness each day.
Hand Over Heart Technique – By physically moving your hand and placing it over your heart center, preferably skin to skin, we activate our natural care response physiologically through oxytocin, the love and care hormone, and dopamine, the happiness hormone. Something as simple as bringing your hand to heart and feeling the weight and warmth of it for a moment when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or unsafe can bring you back to the present moment. While doing so, offer yourself some words of comfort and repeat it to yourself, similar to a mantra. If it becomes a mantra that feels comfortable for you or resonates with you, know that you can come back to it any time of day.
Notice Five New Things – One great way to bring a little more mindfulness into your life is to notice – really notice – five new things every day. It could be anything – the taste of your coffee, the way the light hits something in your room, the way leather feels against your skin. By looking at these things with a new, fresh mind and just taking a moment to enjoy them, you can work yourself out of the whirlwind surrounding all of us.
Shift from a fear and anxiety based perspective to a curious one – Maybe each day you wake up anxious about what you are going to find out on the news today, or you are worried about a loved one, or whether or not you still have a job. These are all normal thoughts that we all experience, primarily because we tend to approach our lives from a fear-based mindset. By acknowledging and accepting these thoughts and emotions rather than judging them, we are practicing mindfulness that brings us to the present moment. From this more mindful state, it can become much easier to look at a situation more as an opportunity and create curiosity for how else you might be able to view the situation. For example, in response to a concerned thought about a loved one, you can compile a list of five reasons you are grateful for them, and maybe even get to share it with them if possible.