Too busy to pause? Try this . . .

The paradox most people face when desiring to be more mindful is the difficulty of making time for mindfulness in their busy lives. Carving out time to practice the very thing that will help us to slow down can be a frustrating conundrum when racing from job demands to appointments to family responsibilities.

The great news is that “Meditation is the ultimate mobile device,” according to Sharon Salzberg, an internationally-known and respected teacher of meditation. “you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”

Bringing a meditative approach to washing the dishes, making copies at work, or waiting in line at the store strengthens your mindfulness muscles and helps release stress. Even drinking a cup of tea can be a mindful practice. Check out more great ideas with helpful guidance in this article on being mindful in your daily life

From practicing mindfulness even a few minutes a day, you are likely to enjoy improved sleep, concentration, memory, work performance and even relationships, as well as a boost to your immunity and happiness. You are even likely to get more done in your day, or realize you don’t actually need to do so much! Either way leads to less stress.

“When you drive around the city and come to a red light or a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax — to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do.”  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

As you begin to weave mindfulness into your day, remember that frequent practice, even in very small doses, is better than longer times less frequently, or not at all. So, find something you do on a daily or frequent basis and commit yourself to doing it mindfully for the next month. Here are a few ideas:

  • Brushing your teeth
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Emptying the dishwasher
  • Showering
  • Folding laundry
  • Making your bed
  • Driving a familiar route

Notice all the subtle sensations of your experience and savor them. Enjoy being fully present and committing yourself fully to what you are doing.

Finally, if you need support to stay on track, or are wondering if there’s “an app for that,” check out Smiling Mind. This app has a wide range of guided meditations, lessons and mindfulness activities grouped into topic modules for five different age groups. There are also modules to support your mindfulness practice at work, and for teachers to use in a classroom. It’s a versatile mindfulness app for the whole family!

Since we can apply mindfulness to any and every situation, there are countless ways to practice mindfulness on-the-go. By bringing full awareness of your experience into any moment of your day, you’ll be better able to access peace, kindness and compassion, and respond to life’s stressors with greater clarity and ease.

To what one breath can do,

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