As a mom of three boys in three different schools who also works part-time outside of the home and blogs weekly, I know what it means to feel busy and frazzled. As a mom who is trying to be present, loving, and intentional, I know the importance of slowing down and being mindful. Here are 3 simple ways I am adding mindfulness to my day, and how you can too.
3 Simple Ways to Add Mindfulness to Your Day
I recently wrote on the secret to start living mindfully today. What was the secret? To breathe…not just breathe, but to breathe in a particular way. I think breathing deeply and purposefully is the first step to add mindfulness to your day, but I’m not including that in this list.
The three simple and practical suggestions I want to make fall under the two categories of:
Counter the urge to be productive all. the. time.
Change your perspective regularly
Counter the urge to be productive all the time
1. Do activities that encourage internal dialogue rather than external input.
I walk to work 3 times a week. I’ve been walking without headphones. Just walking – listening to the noise in the street, listening to the thoughts in my head.
I’m tempted to use that time to be productive – to listen to podcasts to make me a “better” mom, a “better” blogger, a “better” person. There is a sense of striving in that yearning to be “better” however, that goes against my value for grace and contentment.
That isn’t to say that hard work and ambition are wrong – it’s just that the push for it is constant. We need to consciously step away from the persistent external input to be productive and let our own thoughts have some space. This input could be through the radio, the television, podcasts, or webinars.
You may not walk to work, but where are the pockets of time where you could allow silence? Driving? Running? Doing housework?
Change your perspective regularly
2. When you are outside, look up at the sky.
I’ve started making myself look up at the sky regularly while I walk. It’s a simple thing, but it changes my focus and enlarges my perspective. There’s an expansive feeling I get from looking beyond the pavement in front of me that calms me and makes me feel more present. Try it. See if you feel it too.
3. When you are inside, look at people’s faces around you.
I don’t know about your work place or home, but it is increasingly rare to actually meet someone’s eyes and make a personal connection because of our technology. Tablets, smartphones, and laptops are the center of people’s attention today.
One place that I notice this at work is while people are walking in the halls, and especially while waiting for the elevator, or in the elevator. What is it about elevators that make me so uncomfortable? I think it’s the small space which is often really crowded. Is it just me?
I’m really aware of the urge I get to scroll through my phone when I’m at the elevator or walking down a straight hallway – and I’m trying to fight it. Instead of scrolling, I’m looking at people, smiling and greeting them, making conversation. I think of it as an in person “like” and “smiley face.”
It’s a small thing but it keeps me present and available. I don’t want to miss out on opportunities right around me to be blessed or to be a blessing to others.
What are simple ways you add mindfulness to your day? I would love to know in the comments!
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Daisy @ Simplicity Relished says
I love this, Angela! I’m fascinated with mindfulness and definitely think it can be a great de-stressing tool! Thanks for sharing these practices. 🙂
Hi Daisy! I’m far from an expert, but I am trying to share as I learn. It IS really helpful for lowering stress. Hope you are well friend!
These are all important!!
Thanks for listing them for me.
Your welcome Melinda! I hope it helps you add a bit of mindfulness to your day. 🙂
I love this concept. There IS so much pressure to use every second of every day wisely and, while that has merit, so does the idea of embracing and celebrating where you are. Thank you for the reminder 🙂
I agree Abby. I’m discovering how to act purposefully whether in work or rest. It’s not always easy though.
Gaye @CalmHealthySexy says
These are excellent tips, Angela. They are small things that really can make a difference. In regard to #1, I am thinking more about the concept of Sabbath, and whether a big part of its purpose is to get us away from the need to BE PRODUCTIVE all the time! I am exploring that, with some trepidation.
That sounds like a great thing to explore Gaye. I agree that observing the Sabbath helps us to step away from doing and rest in being!
These are some great ways to add mindfulness in our days. I especially like number 3 – it’s such a great way to brighten someone’s day with just a smile. Great post! #letsgetreal
Thanks Ana! Thanks for reading me and commenting – I appreciate it!
Ruthie Gray says
Angela – 3 in 3 different schools?! Wow. That’s a lot, girl! No wonder you just need some silence when you walk. I do too. I get you. I have XM Radio and I rarely use it because when I’m in the car is the only time I get pure, unadulterated SILENCE.
And being intentional with people face to face is important – and a dying art. Thanks for reminding us of these 3 important tips on Tuesday Talk this week!
Thanks Ruthie. I completely agree that silence is such a gift. A gift I need to remind myself that I need to embrace!
Janet Vinyard says
Hi Angela, This was a very thought-provoking post! We’re so inundated with our various medias that we don’t take time to think for ourselves. Thanks for sharing this! Blessings, Janet
Thank you Janet for reading and commenting! It is so easy to fill all of our “down” time with media. I know I often feel productive multi-tasking, but what I really need to do is the task in front of me in silence.
Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project says
I’m often looking for ways to increase mindfulness – thank you for these great suggestions.
You’re welcome Nicole! I hope they are helpful in your daily life.
Angela @ MOMtessori Life says
I love this!I love this! My daughters frequently remind me to “broaden my perspective” — they are constantly looking up at the sky or down into tiny holes in the ground, and it really help me to just slow down and experience the world with them!
That’s so beautiful Angela. Yes, that’s exactly what we need – a reminder to slow down and examine things with joy and curiosity. Children are so wonderful at that. Thank you for sharing!
Jeanne Grunert says
Shared this. Mindfulness is SO important. Love it. Thank you for sharing it on the #HomeMattersParty
Thank you for sharing it Jeanne, and thank you for hosting such a great party!
I really love this. It reminds me of “Be still and know that I am God.” Silence and stillness. It is so hard to do today when everything and everyone tells you to go, go, go to be the best you can be. I especially love the change your perspective outside. My favorite thing to do is look at nature from different perspectives, like looking at the underside of a flower for example. It’s to see the beauty in the everyday ordinary things what you miss so often. I’m sharing this as a feature for Tuesday Talk and on Pinterest and Facebook this week! You always have such great posts! Thank you for linking up with us every week! -Jessica, Sweet Little Ones
Yes Jessica, that’s the perfect verse to reflect the heart of this post. It sounds like you are practicing stillness and curiosity through your day. Thank you so much for sharing and featuring the post – I’m honored and blessed!
I don’t like the silence; I have to have some sort of white noise. I’ll even turn on some show I never watch while cooking just to have that noise.
Silence is hard at times Cassi. I have to make myself “stop the noise” because I know it’s good for me to let myself be in silence. It may not be for everyone, but I find that with kids and technology – silence really is golden to me these days!
I love this. I like to say a prayer in the morning, giving everything in my day to God. And I try to stop and really listen to people, look them in the eye and be there in the conversation, instead of letting my crazy run on in my head while they talk. 🙂
That’s beautiful Desiree. You made me laugh with “instead of letting my crazy run on in my head.” Focused listening is so rare these days that it is a true gift!
Shirley Wood says
We could all benefit from getting back to the basics and connecting with one another more. I read recently about a couple that takes 15 minutes each evening to hold hands and talk, no devices allowed. Sounds dreamy. Great tips and reminder. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday.
That is so sweet about the hand holding – such a simple but powerful thing. The no devices is such a rare thing these days. It does take intentionally putting it away to refocus on each other. Technology is such a blessing and curse!
Wonderful! I could certainly use all three of these in my daily life, and reminders like this will give me the push to try harder. I am particularly bad about looking down A LOT. I think I miss many beautiful views because of this. Thank you for the beautiful post.
Your welcome Mistie! Thank you for reading it and commenting. It takes effort for me as well to look up while I’m walking, I can be a bit clumsy and stumble! It’s often worth the awkwardness though. 🙂
Stella Lee @Purfylle says
I love the idea of IRL smiley face and likes. I think elevators make everyone feel uncomfortable, being trapped with strangers puts us on our guard.
Anne - Just Only Home says
Great advice. I could really work on #2. It’s easy to get into a daily routine where you are focusing on the same things day in and day out. Just looking around and noticing the world really would be refreshing.
It is such a simple but powerful act that change your whole day. Try it Anne – I know it will add mindfulness to your day.
I love the idea of looking at the sky! Granted, I’m a total klutz so i forsee that ending badly haha!