How to use your daily life to practice awareness & focus
In this Mindful.org article, 11 Steps Toward Daily Mindfulness, Zindel Segal explains how you can use your everyday movements & activities to practice being aware of where your attention is “and deliberately changing the focus of attention, over and over again.”
Using daily occurrences as a way to train mindfulness creates a consistent practice & repetition is what creates new habits.
One example includes, when you awake each morning, before you get out of bed, notice the pattern of your breathing, then deliberately take 5 deep breaths.
If you do this practice every time you wake up, it will become habit in & of itself. And it helps train your overall habit of awareness & focus by having you notice your breath then focus your attention on taking deep breaths.
Another example is one of my favorites. Waiting in line. This can be a really great opportunity to apply many mindfulness principles.
In this article, Zindel says to notice your body, how you’re standing, your breath & any feelings of impatience.
In my own mindful line waiting practice, I do the things he suggests as well as add a few because I often feel impatient waiting in line.
When I notice that feeling, I remind myself that I have a choice in this moment. Now that I’m aware, I can consciously choose to continue to be impatient or I can switch it up.
I choose to focus my attention towards gratitude, or forgiveness, or self-acceptance, or some other constructive thought pattern that I’m currently working to improve.
So, while in waiting in line, instead of feeling irritated, I use that experience to train my habit of awareness & focus & build a new mental pattern.
Much better experience & use of time.
To read the rest of Zindel’s excellent tips, please read his article here.