Mindfulness: But I don’t have the time!Apr 20, 2022
Mindfulness: But I don’t have the time!
Sound familiar?! We are all busy. Families, work, relationships, chores…the list goes on! When we want to overcome stresses in our lives, getting started can be really hard!
Stress is at an all time high. Smiling Mind has a brilliant White Paper which outlines some of the (pretty alarming) wellbeing data. The paper concludes with some positivity, including the fact that “Most encouragingly, those who reported developing skills like working on their strengths, developing emotional awareness and practicing mindfulness meditation, also achieved a higher overall wellbeing score (7.1) relative to the general population (5.7).” (Smiling Mind 2021)
There is more and more research about the positive effects of mindfulness. However, often when we need relaxation the most, it is hardest to make time for it. There is an old Zen saying that “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
In reality though, for most of us, this is not a viable option. So what can we do…? We need to find ways to integrate it into our daily life. As James Clear suggests, to ‘habit stack’ and attach our new mindfulness habit to routines we do already.
So how does this work? I’m not too sure how it will go down if I sit cross-legged and meditate at my local supermarket…! The key is there are different ways to practice mindfulness and it can be done anywhere and at any time!
Kabat-Zinn has defined mindfulness meditation as “the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” They can simply be small moments repeated regularly.
You can practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime! Even in the shower…! Next time you’re in the shower thinking about the 101 things you’ve got to too, why not try this simple mindfulness hack:
- Ground your feet on the shower floor and notice the feeling of the wet shower floor beneath you.
- Take a long deep breath in. (Did you know breathing is the quickest way to connect our mind and body?)
- Breathe out deeply. Repeat this.
- Then notice. Notice putting the shampoo in your hair.
- Notice the way it foams up, and how it feels when you massage it into your head.
- Notice the feeling of it rinsing off your head.
- Pause and notice. How does it feel “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”
Sometimes when we need to integrate these tools into our busy lives it can be really hard to get started. But the feeling when we do is incredible.
Teaching our kids (or students) to do it too can help to bring the nervous system back into a relaxed state, called ‘rest and digest’.
Remember Mindfulness is “Paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” (Kabat-Zinn). Whatever you are doing, try to do it with your full attention.
- When can you commit to be fully present and mindful? Could it be when you are in the shower? Eating dinner? Walking the dog?
- Whatever it is, take the time to pause and breathe. Notice how you feel. Three deep breaths can really help your body to relax.
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