5 ways to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness without meditation.
A lack of mindfulness can deprive us from the most meaningful interactions in our life; our connection with the natural environment, being present for our loved ones, and importantly the connection with ourselves. Traditional Meditation is a wonderful tool for developing mindfulness or awareness. But if you feel that traditional meditation is not for you, please don’t be deterred. It’s not the only path to develop mindfulness. You can experience the benefits of mindfulness without meditation. There are other activities you can do, such as mindful eating or creative visualisation that will help you to develop the ability to remain present and aware.
When you are practising mindfulness, you are consciously aware. You’re not worrying about the past or the future. You are present to your thoughts, feelings, sensations in the body, and fully aware of your environment. There is no judgement or attachment to what you are experiencing.
In this article we’ll explore 5 ways to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness without meditation.
1. Your Morning routine.
There’s no better place to start then with the activities you routinely do every day.
Let me ask you…when you take your morning shower, are you truly present? Or when you brush your teeth how much of this experience are you aware of? I have to say, it’s not as easy as you think to stay present and stop your mind wondering off. But it’s a good exercise to notice just how busy and distracted your mind can be.
The next time you are in the shower, I invite you to stay present to the experience. How the sensation of the water feels against your skin. Notice the temperature. The smell of the soap, and how it lathers on your body. When your mind wonders off (because it will!) bring it back to the experience.
Try the same process when you brush your teeth.
2. Take a mindful walk.
My favourite mindfulness practice of all. Paying attention to your environment by taking a mindful walk is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness and bring you into the present moment. You can do this practice anywhere, but it’s particularly beautiful when you’re out walking in nature.
Use all your senses to take in everything around you, from the sound of birds chirping to feeling the grass tickle your feet. As you move through each of the senses, do so without attachment or judgement.
Try this practice when you’re next out walking…
For a few moments look around you, what can you see? Notice all the different colours, shapes, and textures.
Next, tune into what do you hear? The sound of your footsteps, the sounds of nature. Hear sounds that are close by and sounds in the distance, the obvious sounds but also the more subtle sounds.
Move your attention to the sense of touch. Feel your feet touching the ground as you walk, fresh air touching your skin, the clothing against your body as you move. Observe the areas where clothing may feel tight with each step. How does the fabric touch your skin?
Next, moving to the sense of smell. What aromas can you detect? Notice subtle aromas as well as strong smells.
Finally, we move to taste. What can you taste in your mouth?
Doing this practice will raise your awareness, is wonderful for shifting your mindset. Did I mention it’s a great stress reliever too? Next time you’re out walking, leave the ear buds at home. Instead savour the natural environment around you.
3. Eating mindfully
Our society has changed somewhat over the last few decades. I recall spending mealtimes sitting with my family, then we got a television in the dining room and the focus moved away from conversation and the food on our plates to watching the 6 o’clock news on TV.
Focusing on the food you are eating is another way to bring you into the present moment. To be more mindful.
When you don’t eat mindfully, with awareness, you are in danger of overeating because your thoughts are elsewhere, you’re not focusing on the process of eating, and listening to the signals your body tells you when you are full.
The complete opposite happens when you eat with awareness. Research shows we digest our food much better when we are present and mindful of the process.
This week, try something different.
Switch off the television or step away from your computer screen. Remove your mobile device and pay attention to the meal you have lovingly prepared.
Notice the taste and flavours of the food in your mouth, the different textures, and smells. Does the flavour change as you swallow?
When your mind wanders off, bring it back to the eating process. Chew slowly and savour each bite. Take time to eat your meal and savour every mouthful!
4. Practice gratitude exercises
Research shows when you take time to recognise and appreciate the big and the small moments of your life it can offer you a wide range of benefits, including strengthening your immune system and improving your sleep quality. But more so it helps to shift your mindset, to experience more joy in life.
Take time each day to practice gratitude. This can be as simple as writing down or expressing mentally three things you are grateful for at the end of the day.
Writing in a journal has been proven to decrease stress and bring more mindfulness into your day. it will also gain insights about you and your daily life. I don’t journal regularly, but occasionally I like to get my words out onto the page, this website is very good to do this.
We know very well to thank someone for opening a door when we’re carrying too many things. Expressing gratitude to a stranger who allows you to jump the coffee queue when you’re in a hurry.
But what about savouring the moment? You know those little moments in life that we often let slip by without real awareness. The positive aspects you observe about your partner, children, your friends. Verbally expressing gratitude to the important people in your life helps to strengthen relationships. It lets them know how much you appreciate them.
When you see a beautiful flower, or a special moment with a loved one, don’t let it pass you by. Stop to appreciate and experience this moment.
5. Engage in Creative Expression as Meditation.
Creative expression, such as painting, drawing, writing, or baking, can be a powerful form of meditation. Creativity is often an avenue to express and process your emotions. Not only do these activities help to relax and clear your mind and help you to remain present, but they also bring out the creative side of your personality and connect in with your self.
One pointed awareness is a form of meditation, and like meditation when you are fully focused engaging in creative activities you are present. This process of concentration is calming for the mind and helps to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Bring inner peace and clarity of mind.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also like to read:
How can mindfulness help in the workplace?
Why it’s important to be mindful.
Feeling overwhelmed? Your breath can be your reset.
FREE AUDIO TRAINING AND PRACTICE:
Click the link below to access a free 10-minute audio training, where you will learn a simple mindfulness practice that uses the breath to take you from your daily barrage of overthinking and worry to reclaim your calm, focus and clarity.