We live in a fast-paced world- and people get caught in the intersection of a prime hustle and bustle zone. Just stand on a downtown sidewalk and close your eyes. The sirens, the chatter, the inflated honks will fill your ears soon enough. The energy is a perpetual force…but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean a breath shouldn’t be taken every now and then. Keeping mindfulness and staying grounded in your surroundings is vital to surviving the stress that everyday life brings.
Mindfulness is about more than just chilling out, though it certainly produces that effect. Staying mindful enables you to experience the moment you’re in to the very fullest. Below are some super simple (though often forgotten), but surprisingly effective mindfulness techniques for staying calm in a crazy world.
From body to visual guided mediation, there are many different ways to try it. You can take an hour or five minutes to meditate- whatever is manageable in the moment. The key to meditation is not to get frustrated with yourself when your mind wanders. Just witness your mind wander without judgment, and gently guide it back to the image or bodily sensation that is the subject of your meditation. If you want to get Gandhi-good at meditating practice and repetition is everything.
Tune into Your Breath
Super simple but highly effective- tuning into your breath can work wonders to chill yourself out. Like meditation, there’s so many ways to try it too. You can engage in deep breathing for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, whatever time allots. The good news is, you don’t need to do it too long to feel the effect. To mindfully tune into your breath, begin by just noticing the sensation of your breath as it travels from your nostrils all the way to your belly. Is the air cool? Are the knots in your belly beginning to untangle? Don’t try to change the way you’re breathing- just tune into it as your breath smooths out naturally.
Pick Up a Book
That’s it…put down the iPhone. Thanks to Steve Jobs, too many adults just don’t pick up a book enough over ever. And kindles don’t count. Feel the weight of a book and the nostalgic texture of its pages. Find a story that fascinates you, chuck your phone out of reach, and try to read twenty pages without checking your newsfeed. You can do it.
Take a Bite
Pop something sweet, sour, or spicy in your mouth and tune into the reaction of your taste buds. When most of us eat, we often do it so quickly we don’t truly taste our food. Take a bite of something and let it sit on your taste buds, noticing the sensations the food triggers in your mouth. Roll a piece of strawberry to the tip of your tongue where your taste buds are strongest. You’ll be surprised at the tangy intensity of its taste. Next time you eat a meal, do it slowly. Sit for a moment with the first bite so you really taste it.
Take A Shower
Even if you don’t stink yet today, hopping in the shower can be a refreshing and a sense-evoking experience. Tune into the sensation of the water as it hits your skin- is it warm or cool? Is the pressure of the water light like the end of a rain storm or is it heavy? Sniff the shampoo before you lather and let the scent travel through your nostrils and down your chest to your stomach.