12 Week Mindfulness Series- Week Five: Daily Practices for a Simple Life
3 Daily Practices for a Simple Life
Wake Up With Intention and Awareness
While still in bed, sit up in a relaxed posture, close your eyes and connect with the sensations running through your body. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, allowing your breath to take on its own rhythm. Make note of the rise and fall of your chest. Ask yourself what intention you want for the day: How will I show up today? What quality of mind do I want to have? How can I take better care of myself? How can I be more compassionate to myself and others? How can I feel more connected? How can I feel more fulfilled? Set that intention. It can be as simple as “today I will give generously, talk with a smile and will have fun with whatever the day brings my way”. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Revisit your intention. By revisiting, you become more conscious of your thoughts and quality of your communication.
Eat Mindfully With Joy
Breathe before eating. Pausing before eating allows the body to slow down from its normally busy state. With your eye closed, take about 8-10 slow, deep breaths. After breathing, bring awareness and listen to your body, do you feel any physical hunger sensations like shaking or a stomach growl? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not hungry and 10 being very hungry, ask yourself “how hungry am I?” Now that you have evaluated your hunger, eat according to it by mindfully choosing what and how much you select. Eat in peace. Slow down your eating speed so that your body can easily digest and enjoy the meal. Don’t like it? Don’t eat it. Take three mindful bites and if you do not like your meal do not eat it. Eat only what you enjoy. If you are worried about waste, compost the meal or give it to someone who may enjoy it.
Activate Your Body and Mind
Mindful exercises allow your body to feel strong and capable as opposed to feeling busy and distracted. By refocusing your energy, your mind, body and nervous system are able to be in sync.
Be clear about your goals and consciously envision the outcome. Warm up your body with simple moves such as jumping jacks, stretching and rhythmic movements. Increase and sustain the intensity of your rhythm, focusing on deep, even breaths. Do this for 10-15 minutes, focusing on your breath. Next, challenge yourself. Increase the intensity of your breath and movements. For 10- 15 minutes, lift heavier weight, run faster, go deeper in your stretches. Steadily slow down your pace to a 5-minute cooldown. Take note of how your body feels. Do you feel more energized? Are you tired? Any noticeable physical or mental gains? Practice naming what you sense and how you feel. Finally, rest.