My 7 Top Mindful Living Hacks
“It’s not that Mindfulness is the answer to all life’s problems. Rather, it is that all life’s problems can be seen more clearly through the lens of a clear mind”, Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Mindfulness is a goal-less activity — You don’t have to search for anything and it can be OK for things to be just the way they are, with nowhere to go and nothing to do — Although that might feel really counter intuitive when so many of us are brought up to believe that the point of life is to get somewhere, not to go anywhere!
Just Be and Seem
Which is a riff on the title of the French artist Jean Dubuffel’s famous 1963 painting, ‘Etre et Paraitre’ — To Be & To Seem — But it is tres important to Be open and prepared and to be accepting and compassionate to yourself.
You don’t need to search for anything and everything is OK — Just practice Mindfulness with Technique and Attitude.
An Attitude of openness and acceptance and a Technique that involves both formal and informal Mindfulness meditation and breathing, with activities such as Mindful Walking and Mindful Eating — Slowing down, being present in the moment, noticing the natural world around you, and tasting and fully savoring the food you eat.
And in the workplace you can be Mindful opening your emails and how you prepare for and are present in meetings.
So, apart from consiously and very deliberately:
- Single tasking, rather than multi-tasking
- Putting some space into your busy schedule
- Spending 5 minutes each day doing absolutely nothing
- Never sweating the small stuff; &
- Practicing really listening to what is being said…
here are my 7 Top Mindful Living Hacks:
- Limit screen time: And not just for your children, but for you too! If you check your mobile phone +150 times a day, spend nine hours plus a day on some type of screen (which is more time than the average person spends sleeping each night) — or, if when you do wake up you still feel unusually tired, then you are not alone. We are surrounded by a constant motion and commotion, much of which can be of our own making. So, Be Bold. Be Rad! And at the very least treat yourself today and from now on everyday to those five special minutes; using the time to become aware of your thoughts, focusing on your breath and noticing the real world around you — In silence and with stillness
- Just do different: Be open to the unexpected; whether it’s taking a different route home from work; striking up a conversation with someone you’ve never talked to before; or turning off the in-car audio system as you drive from A to B
- Exercise without headphones: Be radical and simply turn off the music and tune into the sound of your breath as you inhale and exhale, the beat of your heart, the rhythm of your stride and the sound of your feet as they hit the floor
- Set a challenge: Whether it is to move more (Perhaps a ‘Step Challenge’); or a Workplace Challenge to introduce Mindfulness into the business (& there is much more on what you can practically do to make this happen in my Book & in this recent piece on Thrive Global too); or just challenging yourself to be present more at home i.e. not just being in the room with your family, but in the room with ‘Your brightness switch turned right up’
- Use Mindful Post-Its at work: And write on each a daily affirmation or reminder, like, ‘Today I will…consciously pause and consider before I respond’, and then place prominently on and around your desk
- Stop being a slave to your emotions: Don’t run on empty — make and give yourself time and space — and remember you are not your emotions; &
- Smile more than you want: The American essayist, lecturer, poet and leader of the mid-19th century Transcendentalist Movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “For every minute you are angry, you loose 60 seconds of happiness” — So, even if you don’t feel particularly happy, just try smiling and start recharging those ‘60 seconds of happiness’ back to your Personal Well Being Account
And the pay-off?
Doing each of these Hacks will help promote a slower, more deliberate consciousness that engages the prefrontal cortex of the brain i.e. that part of the most complex organisation of matter in the know universe sitting right on top of your neck and shoulders, that regulates emotions and the ability to think clearly.
Hugo Gernsback, also known as the Father of Science Fiction, along with HG Wells and Jules Verne, purportedly invented the term Science Fiction back in the 1920’s, and in 1929 used it to pose the Grandfather Paradox.
Basically if you could go back in time and kill your grandfather, would you actually be able to do it, since you would have already eliminated yourself? And that’s not a half-bad pitch for a film is it? Perhaps with the working title, Son of Terminator?
The big thing to remember about Mindfulness though is it is not Science Fiction, but Science Fact!
The evidence is very real and together with the exposition of the many benefits that regular practice and observance can make to all areas of our life, already constitutes a mighty tome that is growing bigger every day — Just Google it.
So, let go of perfect, make Mindfulness your gift to yourself and start unwrapping it today.
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd