A Harvard study on mindfulness found that people spend half of their waking hours thinking about something other than the present moment. Whether that’s an argument with a friend last week or a daunting work project for the next, we all have a nasty habit of neglecting the present moment right in front of us. Taking up mindfulness practice is the most effective way to counteract this tendency, so today we bring you four strategies to live more in the moment.
Take a mindful walk
Mindfulness takes practice, and oftentimes that means eliminating distractions like your phone. Mindfulness walk is simply the practice of walking through your neighborhood and taking note of everything around you from the sensation of your feet against the ground to the sounds of the birds above your head. Try to not listen to music or podcasts but rather just experience the world around you in an unfiltered and mindful way. Practicing this on walks will help you translate this mindset into your other daily activities.
Practice mindful stretching
When was the last time you really focused on the sensations in your body? Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles recommends taking time to stretch and feel the depth of every sensation moving through your body. Take note of points of tension or tightness.
Focus on everyday activities
Finish one task completely before launching into the next and enter into every activity with purpose. This can be as simple as acknowledging the feeling of water and soap on your hands as you do the dishes. If you engage in a daily workout practice, take a moment to set an intention before you begin to stay present.
Mindfulness is a practice that ebbs and flows throughout our lives. During tumultuous periods, you may find you have more trouble staying focused and engaged. Make note of periods of distraction and try to stay in the moment by simply recognizing when you’re feeling scattered and coming back to the moment.