Sometimes, when you’re on a hectic schedule, squeezing mindfulness meditation into your schedule can feel overwhelming. And it’s not practical either.
A better approach is to split up your meditation session into 5-minute chunks throughout the day. It’s called micro mindfulness, and it’s tremendously powerful. You still get the benefits of mindfulness without having to block time for it in your schedule.
Lately, I’ve been incorporating micro mindfulness into my daily life with great results. In this article, I’m going to share how you can incorporate it too.
A Mindful Moment for Busy People
Here are 11 ways to enjoy a micro-moment of mindfulness when you have a hectic schedule:
Mindful breathing. Put your awareness to your breathing and use your senses to notice all the sensations of breathing.
Mindful listening. Listen mindfully to someone talking. When the other person speaks, listen wholeheartedly without interrupting or thinking about your response. Take your time answering. Give the other person your full attention.
Body scan. Do a quick body scan. A body scan is a good way to find tension in your body by paying attention to and relaxing one body part at a time. Begin by paying attention to your hands. Relax your hands. Continue in this manner with your arms, shoulders, face, chest, back, legs, and feet. With some practice, it will become more comfortable, and your body will relax faster.
Mindful eating and drinking. Notice all physical sensations of eating an apple. Notice the weight of the apple in your hand and the taste of it when you bite in it. You can practice this with a cup of coffee too. Notice the smell of the coffee, the weight of the cup in your hands, and the feeling of the coffee pouring down your throat.
Check in to your surroundings. Listen to the sounds around you. Try to hear all the different layers of sound, one at a time, then all simultaneously.
Let go. Let go of an intrusive thought or emotion by taking a deep breath and paying attention to it. Breath out and let the thought or emotion leave your body together with the air.
Mindful everyday routines. Be mindful when you do your everyday routines, such as brushing your teeth or shower. Don’t think about everything you have to do during the day. Instead of worrying about the future, enjoy the present moment. This simple exercise pulls you into the present and eases anxiety. Thinking about your to-do list will not help you get things done, so why worry at all? We can only change the now anyway.
Mindful phone usage. Every time you unlock your phone, be mindful about what you’re doing and ask yourself the following question: “Is it absolutely critical that I do this right now?” Most of the time, the answer is “no.” In the same manner, when you scroll mindlessly through your social media feeds, become aware of what you’re doing, and bring your attention back to the present moment.
Practice compassion. Write something thoughtful to someone you love.
Practice gratitude. Take a moment to write down one thing you’re grateful for in your mindfulness journal. This exercise helps to cultivate a positive mindset by shifting your focus to what you’re thankful for.
Micro meditation. Close your eyes, bring your attention to your breathing, and meditate for a few minutes. Most of the time, a few minutes is all it takes to center yourself.
When you feel unfocused and too tired to meditate, take a few moments to be mindful about it, take a deep, deep breath down into your belly and let go.
Mindful living is as easy as that.