Bringing mindfulness into your everyday life is part of making a difference and helping decrease the anxiety you might feel. There are many ways to practice mindfulness every day. Remember mindfulness means to be present and pay attention in the moment in a particular way, without judgment.
When you read, do you read mindfully? I’ve noticed that today reading may be a rushed activity, getting to the bottom line quickly. Certainly there is a time to read quickly. There are also times to read mindfully.
Reading is one of my favorite activities. I’ve also read mindfully since I was a little girl, reading upstairs in an old farmhouse. I could completely lose myself in the worlds described in the author’s words.
Mindful reading means to savor the words and meaning of what you are reading. Let go of distracting thoughts. Throw yourself into the experience of reading and be in the moment with the words and the meanings of the words. Lose yourself in reading.
What are you reading? I’ve been reading more during the pandemic. Right now, for fun, I’m reading The Holdout and The Cactus. I love learning about the way others see the world and to escape into fiction as a way of relaxing.
I receive many emails. I often rush through responses with the idea that I want to respond quickly and don’t have much time. That doesn’t work so well. I often end up sending two or even three follow up emails because I missed a question or didn’t give enough details in my answer.
Mindful emailing for me would mean to think about the answer to the question being asked and compose an answer. Then take a breath. Think about the person who is receiving the email. Is your response clear and complete? Is the response personalized in some way (if that is indicated)? Does the email communicate in the way I want it to, e.g. friendly, caring, business-like, neutral, or firm?
Being mindful when you first wake can make a difference in your day. When you first wake up, do you say something like, “Oh, no, I have to (fill in the blank) today?”
Try focusing on sights and sounds when you first wake up. What are the sounds of morning? What do you see? If possible, step outside and notice nature, such as the trees in the back yard or flowers on the patio. Consider drinking your morning beverage mindfully. Focus on the taste of juice or water, and consider gratitudes for the day. What are you grateful for this morning?
Mindfulness of Gratitudes
I have many gratitudes today. City workers just picked up my trash. It’s raining outside and couldn’t be pleasant to be out in the weather. I am so grateful for their work and they are brave to be doing this during the pandemic. On the morning show I watch, celebrities are talking about their private lives. I am so grateful I am not struggling with the pain of fame (though of course they have many gifts that go along with their fame). I’m also so grateful that every day I get to do work that I love.
Mindfulness of the Positive
During this pandemic, it can be easy to focus on all the dangers. It’s important to be aware and cautious, but if you only focus on the dangers, your anxiety will grow and grow. The truth is that while the virus is scary, there are also positive things happening in your life. You have a home, food, and family. Maybe you are healthy right now. If you look around you, what are the positives in your life? Be mindful of those too.
Live a skill-full life