Mindfulness is becoming more and more mainstream and for good reasons, too. Research has shown that it has long-term positive effects on physical health, mental health, and overall well being. While it might sound intimidating learning mindfulness techniques, there are small things you can do each day to help incorporate mindfulness into your daily practice.
Need some inspiration? Here are seven things that mindful people do every day:
1. They embrace negative thoughts
Everyone has negative thoughts -- they're rooted in fear. But mindful people welcome these thoughts and embrace them with nonjudgment instead of trying to push them away. By accepting negative thoughts, mindful people are then able to make deliberate decisions that are more positive.
2. They go for walks
Mindful people go for walks in nature regularly because they know it's an excellent way to calm the mind, gain a new perspective, and facilitate greater awareness. Research suggests that walking outdoors can put your brain into a meditative state, triggering involuntary attention.
3. They pay attention to breathing
Breathing is the foundation of mindfulness. Calming the breath is the key to calming the mind. Mindful people focus on their breath often and use it to refocus their attention on the present.
4. They unitask
Mindful people focus their attention on one task at a time. Why? Because multitasking is the opposite of mindfulness. Most people spend their days in a state of divided attention and constant multitasking, which prevents them from living in the present. Rather than multitasking, it's actually more efficient to take frequent breaks between intervals of one-pointed attention.
5. They meditate
Mindful people carve out time to meditate. While you can be mindful without meditating, research shows that meditating regularly helps you to become more mindful. Meditating every day can improve cognitive function, reduce stress, and boost well-being.
6. They're conscious of what they eat
Mindful people listen to their bodies. They nourish themselves with healthy foods that are prepared with intention. Mindful eating is all about paying attention to the tastes and sensations of food, focusing entirely on the act of eating itself.
7. They let their minds wander
Yes, mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment. But letting your mind wander also serves a crucial purpose -- it cultivates curiosity, creativity, and imagination. Mindful people are able to strike a balance between these two ways of thinking.
Most importantly, mindful people don't take themselves too seriously
To truly cultivate a mindful outlook on life, you have to remember to laugh a little. Don't get too wrapped up and carried away by all the emotions. If you are able to have a sense of humor about issues, then you'll be able to better cope with them.
- "13 Things Mindful People Do Differently Every Day," Huffington Post, December 6, 2017.
- "10 Things Mindful People Do Differently To Cultivate Peace in Their Everyday Lives," Thought Catalog, March 14, 2016.