21 ways to improve your awareness and your life

How many times do we go through our days not noticing the little things, like the smile on our child’s face as he eats his pancakes, the smell of our brewing coffee, or the way a text thoughtful of a friend makes us feel. The hustle and bustle of life can cause us to intentionally spend living our days reacting when work, life, frustrations and obstacles arise. Inject our lives with more mindfulness is quite simple and can be done anywhere, anytime. It is mainly enough to become aware and have the intention to slow down and actively engage our senses.

Simply put, mindfulness it is when you focus on your senses and your feelings at a given moment. Practicing mindfulness allows your body and mind to relax and, over time, create a better stress response.

If you want to bring more mindfulness into your life, we’ve listed 20 ideas to help you move into a more intentional space. Of course, you don’t have to do all of them, but picking just one to try can help your day go better and feel more aligned with how you want it to go.

1. Take a break between tasks.
Just take a break before taking the next action. It sounds like: letting the phone ring one or two more times before answering, smelling your door handle before unlocking and opening it at the end of the day, smelling your morning coffee before taking that first sip. Taking those short breaks and pauses allows you to clear your mind, connect with the present, and give yourself purpose and energy before you dive into the task at hand.

2. Bring joy to your daily activities like cooking, cleaning and getting ready for the day.
If you cook, cook paying attention to different processes, such as chopping, stirring, opening containers, pouring, lifting and serving. Instead of rushing to make your bed, enjoy the breath of the air as you ruffle the sheets and the softness of the blankets as you put them in place. As you clean up messes from your little one’s dinner party, take a moment to smile at him and connect by gently wiping his messy face and picking up any fallen crumbs.

3. Go out for ground.
Take off your shoes and socks and pay attention to the connection between your feet and the solid ground below you. Grounding offers many benefits, not to mention the quiet and quiet connectivity that time spent in nature provides.

4. Practice gratitude.
Whether you start a gratitude journal or just take a few moments each day to notice some things you are grateful for. Gratitude pulls your awareness towards the good in the present moment.

“Gratitude opens the fullness of life. It makes what we have enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. He can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

– Beattie Melody

5. Stretch.
Engage your breath and watch the feeling of tension stretching or loosening. Foam rolling is also another great way to be in your body, release and give thanks.

6. Be present at your meals.
If you don’t do anything else, take a deep breath before you start to eat. This automatically puts you in a state of rest and digestion (which is much better for your overall digestion!). Notice the taste of the food, actually chew your food, and pay attention to when your hunger starts to subside and feelings of fullness start to appear. Avoid multitasking and just enjoy your food!

7. Keeps a stock of your inner speech.
Notice the the stories you tell yourself. Sometimes we go through our day without noticing the way we are talking to each other. Are the stories true? Realistic? Are they like you would talk to a friend or loved one? Otherwise, spend some time focusing on how you can change to be more supportive and kind to yourself.

8. Create a ritual of relaxation.
Rather than rushing into your bedtime routine and hopping in bed, educate your evening routine. Maybe light a candle, dim the lights, and move forward with intention. As you get into bed, what do you notice? It is hot ? Costs? Relaxing? How do the sheets feel?

9. Newspaper.
There are so many amazing diary inviteis there if you don’t know where to start. You can sit down and write down whatever you notice around you, the things you’re grateful for, or even just everything you want to accomplish this week and how you want to feel.

ten. Do you buy flowers.
It sounds simple, but bring nature inside is a great way to help you slow down and take a moment to appreciate their shape and color whenever they catch your eye. We also love the style decorative branches, too much.

11. Spend time doing nothing.
We can hyper hourly ourselves, which leaves little time for life to flex and flow as needed. Without space, we usually rush from task to task, from task list to task list without being present. Try to schedule a 20-minute break between meetings and don’t schedule anything fixed for that time. Plan an hour into your Friday afternoon and let it fill up, whether it’s a board game with your kids, answering emails, or taking an afternoon bath. Try to have a portion, short or long, of each day with nothing planned.

12. Engage your senses.
Close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you. Take a deep breath and see what smells emerge. Connect with your present moment by engaging your senses, while they are usually on autopilot. This is a great practice to do when you feel that stress is setting in your day and you need a reset.

13. Take yourself on a date.
Take the time out of your week just to be present with you can be a game-changer. This can get you off autopilot and give you an opportunity to slow down, and maybe
experience something new.

14. Only say yes to the things you really want to do.
Your time is precious, and it is so easy to say yes, even when you want to say no. Practice mindfulness with your limits and only say yes when you really want to.

15. Recognize how you are feeling.
At any time of the day, ask yourself how you are feeling right now (without calling it good or bad!). You can either spend some time thinking about this feeling and what is causing it, or you can just be aware and move on with your day.

16. Check with your body.
The body usually functions without needing much from you: your heart beats, your lungs suck in and release air, and your organs usually buzz, no matter how much attention you give them. These sensations are always there and your body benefits when you notice it. Take a moment to register. Where do you hold the tension? Have you noticed any pain? How is your heart rate, slow or fast?

17. Give someone you love a hug.
Aim for five to eight seconds and think about how much you take care of yourself and how grateful you are to that person.

18. Walk mindfully.
Nature always heals, but it can be easy to bog down your walks with a podcast, scroll or reply to emails on your phone. Instead, turn your phone on in airplane mode, maybe skip the headphones, and focus on your surroundings. Do you see trees? Water or skyscrapers? Notice the traffic, the wind in your hair, the clouds and the passers-by.

19. Avoid the urge to scroll.
Scrolling through social media is generally anything but mindful. Try to raise awareness when the urge arises and actively choose another activity. If you spend time on social media, make it a conscious choice rather than a reflective one.

20. Really connect on social media.
If you are going to spend time on social media, make it more meaningful by leaving a thoughtful comment or DM, or spending time really enjoying an inspirational account.

21. Stop rushing.
Does anyone else feel the frustration when you get stuck unexpectedly in traffic or find yourself in a long line? The reality is that there isn’t much you can do in these situations, so why not let go of the pressure. Take a deep breath and remember that you will get to where you are going as soon as you can.

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