True mindfulness takes a lot more than just a decision or ambition to be mindful. Mindfulness is something that takes practice – and in my experience, a lot of it. Don’t worry – if you want to live mindfully, it doesn’t have to be a torturous transition.
In order to become truly mindful, there are a few things that you can do to promote the right mindset and approach. And I am going to share some of these with you …
Below are my top activities and hobbies that I find the most valuable in terms of becoming more mindful. Why do they work? Well, it’s quite simple to understand. While involved in these activities and hobbies, it is easier to focus the attention, eliminate the noise/clutter of a busy mind, and be present in the moment, focusing only on exactly what you are doing without letting the mind wander.
For me, living mindfully is essential. It simplifies potentially frustrating scenarios and brings a sense of peace to my life. I also find that while practicing mindfulness, I am more compassionate, empathetic, and open to things. I would like to share how each of the following activities can bring a sense of mindfulness into your life, so that you can try them out for yourself. Read on.
Start enjoying the following hobbies & activities to promote mindfulness in your life.
Practicing yoga and mindfulness is actually very similar. The two practices are so similar and complementary of each other because they have the same objective: to become more aware, quiet the mind, and to connect mind, body, and spirit.
Pilates is focused on breathing. It is also focused on quietening the mind and focusing on each and every movement and stretch carefully. In order to do Pilates, the practitioner must be wholly present and focused as well as self-aware.
3. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises form an essential part of most meditative practices. Even if you are feeling stressed or panicked and need to calm yourself down quickly, you can use certain breathing techniques to do that. By practicing slow, deep, and calm breathing regularly, you can promote a more mindful approach in your life.
4. Bubble bath/soaking in the tub
Stepping away from the bustle and hustle of the world is important and a great way to become more mindful. It is hard to quiet the mind and be present in the current moment when it seems like there is so much to do. It might seem like all of it needs to be planned in your head right now.
By turning off the outside world and taking some time out for a bubble bath or a soak in the tub, you can quiet the mind, clear your head, and be genuinely mindful. In my opinion, for your own mental health, you should schedule a soak in the tub at least once a week.
5. Silencing all devices
Sometimes it is hard to think straight with all the ways in which we are connected to our many devices. Mobile phones ring and beep, televisions make noise, air conditions whir, tablets and computers…, you get the point. It just seems like there is no way to actually switch off and live in the exact moment that you are in.
One habit/activity that mindful people enjoy is to get home from work (or even do this over the weekend), turn off all devices, and enjoy the silence with absolutely no distractions and interruptions.
6. Tai Chi
Both mindfulness and Tai Chi place emphasis on breathing techniques and calming the mind. When practicing Tai Chi, you are calm, clear-headed, and confident. By practicing Tai Chi, you have to think about each new movement and pose and focus on doing it just right. For this to be possible, you have to push all other thoughts and distractions out of your mind and focus on being 100% present in the current moment.
In order to garden safely and effectively, you have to pay full attention to what you are doing. While you can drift off and start thinking and overthinking on other things while gardening, because of the tranquil environment, you are able to bring your mind back to the current moment, observe that your mind has wandered and focus on trying to keep it in the moment for a while longer. If you want to get some practice at doing this, gardening is a great hobby to start.
8. Coloring patterns
Many therapies encourage using coloring in books to clear and calm the mind. You will be able to find a variety of coloring books that feature different patterns and designs. The objective is to focus on what you are coloring and try to keep your mind truly focused on that activity, and only that activity until it is finished. If your mind wanders, do not be judgmental. Simply bring it back to the task and try again.
You do not have to pay to bird watch. You can go birdwatching in your garden, the local park or in a reserve. All you need is time (and on certain occasions binoculars). Turn off your phone, leave your camera at home, and set out to spot a few birds. Watch how they move, notice their colors and markings. The more you engross yourself in the practice of birdwatching, the more you will be living in the moment mindfully.
You will find that if you try to read a novel and your mind is on a million other things, you will not be able to absorb what is on the page. Reading is an excellent mindfulness task as it is one of the few activities that, in general, cannot be done while multitasking. If you want to start training your brain to focus, find a quiet, comfy spot, turn off your devices, and start reading.
11. Exercising (running, cycling, swimming, etc.)
Exercising is a fabulous way to de-stress and get your mind off things. Certain exercises such as running, cycling, and swimming are great ways to boost mindfulness. You can use these exercises to train a more mindful mindset by focusing on each movement, noticing how you feel, and trying to only focus on bettering your technique.
12. Knitting or crocheting
Knitting and crocheting both require a great deal of concentration and focus. Because both of these activities are methodical and repetitive, they are great for acquiring a meditative mindset. You can simply let go of the thoughts and worries for the day and just focus on doing each stitch correctly. This helps to teach the mind to focus and to reduce the background noise it deals with on a constant basis.
13. Writing it out
Journaling is a great way to focus on one particular task and stop your mind from wandering. To journal effectively, you have to be 100% present and really take a look at how you are feeling. Being mindful is about being aware of your feelings and emotions without judgment and without reacting. Journaling provides the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at your feelings and emotions and to write them down honestly without fear of being judged.
If you want to train your mind to let go of all the thoughts, worries, obsessions, and to-do lists that it keeps sorting through, take some time out to do a bit of cooking or baking. Both of these activities require you to be present in the moment and to focus on following a set list of things to do. You can use this to train your mind to focus on just the one task and to keep assessing your progress as you go. If you find yourself getting lost in thoughts, bring your mind back to the current task, and try again.
15. Home décor
I saved the best for last because this one is my favorite, and I live by it. Having a set task to focus on is a good way to practice mindfulness. It is also helpful if you are able to do a task that promotes a meditative or very calm and relaxed mindset. For me, re-working a room’s décor is the perfect way to do that. Painting walls, hanging curtains, planning décor on the walls – all of these tasks require 100% presence of mind and body.
All in all
If you want to practice mindfulness, you do not have to sit alone in a quiet room and shut yourself off from the world. You merely need to change the way your mind thinks and train it to remain focused on the current moment instead of jumping back to the past or worrying about the future. Try the above activities to incorporate more mindfulness in your life.