Routines are a part of life. Nearly everyone has these patterns integrated into their own lives. Routines represent a comfort zone for us. Simple practices make the best routines and practicing can help make these mindful exercises seem effortless. Repetition is key! So, while we mention several possibilities, (some may prove more useful than others!) choose one or two simple, daily routines you believe best suited to help reshape your own daily focus! As that routine becomes automatic, you’ll begin to notice your outlook changing, as well.
Building simple routines into our lives strengthens our own ability to approach possibly chaotic or stressful situations with a mental fortitude. The only requirement is to stay ‘present’! The suggestions that follow are universal! Their purpose is to offer insight for helping raise our personal awareness!
Beginning your day by setting an intention is really important!
Setting an intention reinforces a path we can follow. This allows for a conscious awareness of our own intent, despite distractions we might encounter. Wake up and take a few deep breaths, open your eyes and reflect on how you feel. Once you’ve checked in with your physical self, collect your thoughts and set your course with intent! Reflecting on a personal reason for gratitude is helpful for setting your intent.
Commit to eating in a mindful way!
Most persons will indulge in some breakfast, as it provides fuel for our day! Here, again, is an opportunity to feed our souls! Breakfast routines can be the perfect mindfulness practice. Take several deep breaths prior to eating. Minimize or eliminate any conversation. This allows for ample energy and readies us to consume. After breathing deeply, check in and reflect on how your body is feeling. Are you even hungry? Probably so! Plan to eat until your hunger is satisfied completely, but DO NOT overeat!
Choose foods that nourish and replenish your body! Focus on enjoying each bite. Don’t gulp and always chew your food slowly.
Take a TIME OUT! ~ Pause, reflect, and, if necessary, reset your focus!
Building automation into our live’s routines runs counter to being mindful. Being mindful is completely opposed to haste, and being thoughtless. Examining the present moment allows for assessing where we stand, how we are feeling, and what action we should take. However, that will require being honest enough to change our approach, take action now, or even change our focus entirely. The good news is that ALL of those are positive steps!
Automation should never be implemented without careful consideration! In a world of ‘more, faster, ASAP’, pausing becomes an imperative! Simply because a process can be automated does not mean that it should be.
Exercise your brain exactly the ways you would exercise your body!
Just as we attempt to bolster our physical strength and endurance with challenging exercises, exercises for the mind are no different. Challenge your comfort level with reading, spelling, and word order each day. Solve some anagrams, do a crossword puzzle, practice your Spanish! By undertaking new mental exercises we allow our brains to form new pathways, while developing new abilities for solving problems or challenges! It is often been said that little changes in life, excepting our own perspective. That being said, try looking at a challenge from a different angle. Teach yourself to juggle! Bounce a ball between your hands as you walk! Both sides of our brains require stimulation.
DRIVE MINDFULLY – Operate as a compassionate human being, as opposed to a race car driver!
Just as you might consult a map before beginning a long trip, it’s a great idea to reflect before driving! What is my intended destination? What time am I expected to arrive? Do I know the route I’m taking? More importantly, what is the ultimate purpose of my trip? These types of questions keep us on course. Yet being a mindful human behind the wheel requires compassion, spatial and directional awareness, and an attitude of non-judgement. In terms of interacting with others, try to follow the golden rule! Learn to gesticulate ‘tipping your hat’ in the rearview versus flipping someone off. Most of all, just be kind and don’t let other driver’s lack of peace affect your losing your own! And, Yes..it is a Superpower!
Editor’s Note – Please check out the “What Is Mindfulness?” video available in the right-hand column of our site, as it speaks to this post’s driving reference quite well.