Have you ever made the drive home from a busy day at work and not remembered the drive once you got into the house?  Maybe you had a phone conversation with a friend but were distracted and couldn’t remember most of the conversation later.  In our busy world, it can be a challenge to pay attention to only one thing at a time, to quiet the mind enough to do the one thing that’s at hand without being distracted.  This is mindfulness, and bringing this practice into your life can help to improve many aspects of your life.

Mindfulness is the art of being present and paying complete attention to whatever you are doing at the moment.  This can be anything from doing the dishes, taking a walk to having a conversation.  The idea is to bring your focus to only that one thing, without judgement.  Simply experience where you are at the moment.  You can consider it a kind of applied meditation, since it involves training your focus and attention.  You may notice you become more productive both at work and in your personal life as     interactions with others and relationships become clearer and improve.  Mindfulness has also been found to aid in minimising the risk of stress.

Here are a few techniques that you could try to bring more mindfulness into your life;

Delight in the dishes.  This can be applied to any household chore, but especially to ones that you dislike the most.  Don’t think about who else could be doing them, or what else you could be doing at the time.  Allow yourself to become absorbed in the scrubbing of the pans so that they are perfectly clean.  Relax the tension from your jaw and breathe deeply as you wash up.

Master your mornings.  The first hour or two of the morning can set a powerful tone for the rest of the day.  Many of us have routines that we’re used to, and can get ready while half asleep.  Instead, feel how you wake up, note your energy levels and any parts of the body that need a good stretch.  Put your focus on only one thing at a time, whether it’s making a drink, cooking breakfast or brushing your teeth.  Finish what you need to do before checking your email, news, or social networks, ACT don’t REACT.  To take it a little further why not try adding daily goal-setting to your morning before interacting with the world.  This way you will have goals that you can work towards all day instead of just bouncing between other peoples’ demands on you.

Take time just for joy.  Do you find yourself getting so wrapped up in your day that you never know where your time goes and find that you never have time for relaxing, fun or family? Try putting some time aside that you can dedicate entirely to being with the ones you love, relaxing or just for having fun.  This doesn’t have to be a large block of time, 10 minutes of quiet and reflection can help bring you back into focus and relax.  Mentally block out the stresses of the day, and bring joyfulness to the forefront of your mind.  Celebrate the people in your life, share joy from being able to spend time with the ones who make your soul sing.  This one thing may be the biggest step you can take towards positive mindfulness in your life.  You’ll have a fresher perspective on life when you give yourself the chance to wholeheartedly experience the joy life has to offer.  Have fun!  Laugh with your spouse, your children, the birds, or silly videos on the internet.

Bringing more mindfulness into your life has been shown to reduce stress not just from a mental standpoint, but also health wise by aiding in lowering blood pressure, decreasing cardiac risks, and giving a boost to the immune system.  Try adding these methods to your daily routines to enhance your mindfulness and increase your feeling of well-being.