5 Easy Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

If you haven’t heard of mindfulness, it’s a sort of meditation, defined by Google as “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” In short, mindfulness is taking simple steps daily to improve your overall wellbeing, and it’s a lot easier than it sounds! You don’t have to spend an hour a day meditating. Instead, try and incorporate some of these few easy tips into your everyday life, and see the difference it makes!

1. Take extra time to chew

This might sound silly, but hear me out. Next time you take a bite of food, chew it for longer than usual. Focus on your chewing, the way the food tastes in your mouth, and hone in on the senses that are being used, like smell and taste. Take a minute to forget everything else and just focus on the movements your mouth is making. 

2. Focus solely on your breathing

For a few minutes, sit down and think hard about your breathing. Since it’s normally something we do without having to think about it, it can make a difference to focus on it. Feel your belly expand in and out. Take a deep breath through your nose and let it out through your mouth, and really feel every motion you make.

3. Think about your walking

Instead of focusing on your destination and how fast you’re going to get there, think about how it feels to walk around. Feel the sensation that goes through your feet every time they hit the ground, and instead of thinking about what’s going on around you, take time to really experience all the physical feelings your body goes through on a walk.

4. Take some time to do nothing

When you get home, take 15 minutes to sit on your bed and be alone with your thoughts. Don’t use your phone, don’t listen to music and don’t have any distractions. Instead, just be completely alone with yourself. Let your mind wander, or let it be blank. Just take time to be disconnected from the fast-paced world around you and see what it does.

5. Take extra stretching time

When you get up in the morning, lay in bed for an extra minute and stretch out your entire body. Stretch as far as your limbs will let you and focus on that feeling in your muscles when you move. Don’t hop out of bed, but instead allow yourself to focus on your body and how it feels when you move it in certain ways. It’ll loosen you up and guarantee that you start your day right. 

I know some of these may sound silly, but it’s been proven that practicing mindfulness actually helps the brain. Plus, even if they don’t work for you, it doesn’t hurt to try. Each of these tips take very little time, so what’s the harm in testing them out? It can only help, and in these last few days before finals, everyone could use a little extra help to stay relaxed.