Ever look at the date on your phone and think, “Wait. Where did the month go?” Maybe you occasionally find yourself in a room and forget why you’re there, or you walk away from a conversation without remembering what the other person said. The fact is, the better we get at multitasking, the worse we get at mindfulness; we’ve figured out how to maximize productivity, but often at the cost of feeling present in the moments of our everyday lives. The more robust our to-do lists become, the less likely we are to stop and smell the proverbial roses.
Mindfulness takes effort and practice, but it is possible to start living in the moment even if you’ve grown accustomed to plowing through the day. Try these simple tips.
See also A Mindfulness Meditation to Find Peace and Balance Within
Carve out time for stillness
Even as little as three minutes of meditation can help increase mindfulness. And don’t let the word “meditation” scare you—you don’t need a special room, a fancy cushion or past experience to start a practice. Find a comfortable seat on the floor or in a chair, close your eyes and focus on slowing down the pattern of your breathing. Need a little help? Download an app that provides guided mediation. Both Ananda and Calm have free options.
Uni-task whenever possible
Our lives are full of seemingly mundane tasks: washing dishes, organizing receipts, raking leaves. While flipping on the TV or listening to a podcast can help pass the time, giving your complete attention to one of these simple tasks can actually be a great exercise for mindfulness. Try to find the meditative quality in a repetitive motion and notice the accompanying sounds and sensations.