5 Mindfulness Habits that can change your life

A few years ago, I decided to do an experiment. I’d live in the present moment as much as I possibly could each and every day, and see if I could still be productive. I layered mindfulness over all my responsibilities and decided to see what would happen, if just part of my awareness was in the present moment most of the time.

Guess what happened? My perception around how much ‘time’ I had free, completely changed. I felt like I had plenty of time to do everything I needed to do.  You could say, I started to ‘Be’. Another huge benefit, I was no longer getting tired.

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This was amazing to me. Mindful choices changed my life because it appeared to give me more TIME and more ENERGY. Who doesn’t want that!

Below are the 5 Mindfulness Habits that I implemented, for you to try.

1/ SLOW DOWN by 10%

The first intention to stop rushing and start noticing the day, can wake us up! We live in our heads a lot and it’s difficult to see and appreciate all the detail, in any ordinary day. By simply slowing down a little, you may even find you can think more clearly, remember what you need to and most importantly, you don’t miss those incredibly valuable moments worth cherishing. Approaching the day with less angst, can shift our whole inner homeostasis, resulting in improved health and vitality.  Worth a try!

2/ LISTEN MORE FULLY

Mindful listening has 2 great benefits. Firstly, we can communicate at a deeper level by creating quality conversations, rich in a non-judgemental intention to fully hear what someone has to say. I believe listening at its best, involves this acceptance, instead of knee jerk emotional responses. A great start is to listen more fully to all the sounds around us, without labelling them, just let each sound be a vibration, a tone, somewhere to place your attention, and then take your awareness to the next sound.

Listening well, means giving someone or something your time, it’s a precious gift. (Remember mindfulness makes you feel like you have plenty of time.)

3/ BREATHE WELL

Noticing your breath can literally be life changing, because if this can be steady and smooth, it directly influences our emotions, thoughts and inner equilibrium. It’s not easy to do when the pressure is on, but trust me, this is an incredibly powerful tool, that is a game changer!

4/ RELAX

Yes, RELAX when you are busy, it can be done! I’m not sure who decided that holding the body tight, to the point of pain, headaches and even early states of injury and strain, helps productivity. I highly recommend relaxing to get your work done. The downside is you are not going to ‘look stressed’ so your co-workers may think you are not achieving a thing.

That’s ok, keep ticking off your priority list of ‘To do’s’, but take some time to rest, stretch or even take a 10mn walk, when you need to. My guess is you will bring more creativity, passion, purpose and high energy to the work you do and in my book, this has great worth.

5/ NOTICE

As I mentioned earlier, what I tried was to see if I could be ‘busy and calm’ by keeping up all my jobs, and still having part of my attention aware of the present moment. What I discovered is that when I notice my body, my breath, the detail in my environment, the flavours in my food, the aromas all around, textures and temperatures, I also notice something important; My heart, my intuition, my inner stillness and a whole new approach to my life opened up, just because I decided to value noticing the ordinary detail and the beautiful people, along the way.

For me, I don’t think it would be possible to live without mindfulness any more. It is a rich and delicious part of each day and it guides me towards a life well lived.   

Ed Stevens