How can I be more mindful in my daily life?
Feeling mindful in your daily life, or "off the cushion," is all about practice and learning new habits. There are lots of ways you can practice being mindful as you go about your day.
- One is to choose a couple of specific activities and commit to bring your full attention to them each time you do them. For example, you might choose a set of stairs in your house and commit to yourself that every time you use those stairs, you'll walk them mindfully, bringing your attention to the sensation of your feet on the steps, the feeling of your body as you move, etc.
- More generally there's the opportunity to bring your full attention to whatever you're doing in each moment, wherever you are. For instance, if you’re standing in line you could pay attention to the contact of your feet on the floor or the sounds of the people around you. Or when you’re sitting, notice how your legs feel on the the chair. You can periodically reconnect with your breath, even for just one inhalation or exhalation at a time, and let this be a touch point for mindfulness.
- Another great way to bring mindfulness into your day is to try some walking meditation as you're going from one place to another. It doesn't have to be the formal, slow kind of walking meditation practice that's sometimes taught in meditation centers, but the same principles can apply in how you feel and pay attention to the movements of the body as you walk around. You can also make it a point to open up your senses mindfully throughout the day, taking in sights or sounds with full awareness of seeing or hearing.
Play with these ideas or anything you think of on your own and have fun exploring!
In the Ten Percent Happier app you might like to check out Alexis Santos's course On the Go which has lessons on bringing mindfulness into daily activities like walking, driving and brushing your teeth. We have a section under the Singles tab that's also titled On the Go.