Being aware of what you do, how you act, what you feel, think and how you speak are parts of practicing mindfulness or awareness.
You can practice a lot of things to become more mindful.
Meditating is definitely recommended, but easily you can take moments with things you do in your daily life to get started.
Practicing mindfulness during daily activities
Something you may do every day is drinking a cup of tea or coffee. If you normally drink something, do you do it in peace, or do you do other things, such as looking at your phone, typing behind your screen or reading the newspaper?Are you actually aware of what you drink, how it tastes, how you sit, etc.?
So you can use this daily activity very well in practicing mindfulness. Try to take this moment, at least once a day, to really be aware of what you are doing and not to be distracted.
This sounds easy, but can be quite a challenge, even if the exercise only takes a few minutes.
Actually, this moment of drinking something, in peace, with full attention, is a kind of meditation.
You train your concentration and alertness, you may start to notice how this exercise relaxes your body, that your mind calms down and that your senses are stimulated
What do I pay attention to while practicing mindfull drinking?
OK, you have your cup of tea or coffee and settle on a chair or on the couch.
You then start with the following:
-How do you sit?
Do you make contact with what you are sitting on, so do you really feel the surface? Is it hot or cold, hard or soft. Do you feel your sitting bones? Is your weight evenly distributed or do you mainly lean on one side? Are your legs crossed or side by side? Are your feet in contact with the ground?
-What movements are you making?Can you keep your attention on how your arm lifts and moves? How is the contact with your hand and fingers with the cup, glass or mug? Do other parts of your body also move?
-How does your drink really taste?
Is it sweet, bitter, spicy, strong, weak.
Do you notice differences in taste in your mouth and what is the temperature of the drink and where do you feel this?
What do you feel when you swallow the drink and where?
Do your thoughts wander or can you stick to your activity?
If your mind in wandering, is that all the time, or so now and then? Can you easily resume the activity?
Do feelings or other sensations arise? You might be able to be attentive and enjoy your drink for 1 minute, and then find it good enough again. (which is also fine of course), are you relaxed, or do you become restless at some point? Do you judge yourself if you fail to stay aware?
Exercise in mindfulness after drinking
When you’ve finished your cup, take a moment to see how the exercise went.
– Could you keep your awareness in those few minutes and in the moment?
If not, what has caused your attention to shift?
-Did your thoughts go in all directions or to a certain topic?
-If you were aware of drinking the drink, were you still aware of the rest of your body?
-Do you feel more relaxed after this exercise or not?
-Is there a change in your breathing?
Know that there is no right or wrong with this exercise because you are practicing mindfulness without judgment.
If you notice that you were totally distracted, you appoint this as well, because that too is mindfulness.
Because you take a glass of something every day, you can continue to practice mindfulness in this way very easily.