Young woman meditating

Living Mindfully

posted in: Mindfulness | 1

With very few exceptions, I believe meditation is for everyone and everyone can make it a daily practice. That is not to say that you have to sit for 20 minutes, twice daily to “do it right.” As my meditation groups know, I’m not big on the rules around meditation. They can oftentimes inhibit someone from taking up the practice all together. Start small, even five minutes a day, and you’ll soon find it is becoming less of a chore and more of something to look forward to. And to be honest, in the beginning it can feel like a chore. Stick with it baby!

If you’re juggling responsibilities at home and work, it can be difficult to carve out time to sit down and meditate. While you’re trying to organize your days, you can still start living more meditatively right now. Take a look at these practical ideas for building more reflection and mindfulness into your routines.

Benefits of Living Meditatively

  • Increase your peace of mind. Even brief periods of meditation help to clear your mind of nagging concerns and pointless regrets. You’ll soon feel more relaxed and at ease. With your mind at peace, those little events that once threw you for a loop, like locking your keys in the car for instance, can feel a lot less overwhelming.
  • Accomplish more. Clarity of mind enhances your thinking and decision making. You manage your time effectively and achieve more with less effort.
  • Enjoy greater happiness. Once you start living meditatively, be prepared to smile frequently and feel more optimistic.

Basic Principles of Living Meditatively

  • Slow down. Do you feel like you are being swept along by external circumstances and obligations? Moving at a more leisurely pace enables you to take control. Set priorities and think strategically about how you want to allocate your resources.
  • Focus your attention. It’s easy to wind up being pulled in multiple directions. Set aside distractions and give your full attention to one task. Multi-tasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  • Observe your surroundings. Extend your awareness outwards. Appreciate the beauty of nature. Seize opportunities to make a new friend or acquire a valuable skill.
  • Let go of expectations. Expectations can undermine your happiness. Realize that much of life is uncertain, but you can shape your experiences by how you decide to respond to events. Resolve to learn from your mishaps and persevere through discomfort.
  • Generate compassion. Remember that you have plenty of company in adversity. Reach out to someone who looks like they need a helping hand. Validate the struggles of others and wish them well with all your heart.
  • Express gratitude. If you’re reading this, you have so much to be thankful for. Remind yourself with a gratitude journal, writing down three things you’re thankful for on a regular basis. Tell others how they bring more joy into your life and help you to build your character.

Applying Meditation to Routine Activities

  • Care for your body. It’s easier to meditate when you keep your body in top shape. Eat nutritious foods and exercise on a regular basis. Get restful sleep. See your doctor for regular checkups.
  • Strengthen your relationships. Living and working with others often creates some of our most challenging and rewarding experiences. Mindfulness can help you to be more patient with your all your loved ones. You may discover new solutions for resolving interpersonal conflicts.
  • Do meaningful work. Meditation is also good for your job satisfaction. Consider how your current position aligns with your values and talents. Take on new projects to learn what tasks give you the greatest sense of fulfillment. If you’re retired, do the good work by volunteering for an organization that touches you.

Live mindfully in all that you do. It will help you to focus your mind and open your heart.

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