As life has gotten busier, and the space for morning and evening meditation has grown shorter, I've had to find ways to incorporate my practice into all aspects of my day in order to maintain my center. Spending time in silence and pausing to be grateful daily is an absolute necessity for me to function optimally. So with a little creativity, and a lot of mindful awareness, I've developed some mindfulness hacks that help me with my practice and provide the reminders and inspiration I need to remain on track.
While what works for me may not work for you (it's important for you to explore and experiment with your own path to find what speaks to you), may these ideas help you to discover and seek out new ways to live more mindfully every day. Here are my go-to tips to help get you started!
- iPhone Reminders: It's easy to get lost in the workday and forget to pay attention to the signals and reminders our body and intuition are sending us. That's why I set iPhone reminders for everything from drinking a glass of water, to stopping to take 5 long, deep breaths or even repeating positive affirmations! All of these go off at different times throughout my day, and when they do, I stop to absorb the affirmation or do what the reminder is telling me as soon as I see it. If I'm in the middle of something that absolutely can't be interrupted, I set the reminder to go off again in 15 minutes. Tip: Take some time to self-reflect to discover the things you want to be more aware of, and set reminders to help you implement them daily! Check-in with yourself and modify these reminders often as you learn and grow new daily habits.
- Morning Intentions: Before opening my eyes, I take 5-minutes to set my intentions for the day. I picture myself living the life I dream and fulfilling all of the things I wish to accomplish that day. Then I gently open my eyes with gratitude in my heart for the opportunity to experience a beautiful new day. Starting my morning off with positivity, Love and gratitude sets the tone for the entire day and helps me to live in alignment with all that I wish to achieve. Tip: Imagine your intentions as vividly as possible and feel the joy you'd feel if they were already manifested ;)
- Gratitude: There is no faster way to inner joy than being thankful. I try to fully soak in the energy of moments that make my heart smile, by pausing and closing my eyes for a moment of silent gratitude. This usually leaves me smiling from the inside out! Tip: Before falling asleep at night, spend 5-minutes reviewing all that you are grateful for that day. This helps put things into perspective and will keep you feeling humble each and every day.
- Mindful Eating: I practice mindful eating with at least one meal a day. As I eat, I close my eyes and tune into the sensations inside my mouth, the taste buds activating on my tongue, how each morsel feels as I chew and swallow it. I notice how my food feels as it travels down my esophagus into my stomach, and how my body responds to each and every bite. I pause to send gratitude for the nutrients entering my body. Once I have finished my meal, I remain seated with my eyes closed, taking the time to clean out leftover morsels with my tongue, and allowing my body 5-minutes to digest before getting back to work. By practicing this daily, I not only enjoy the experience of eating so much more, but I'm also more aware of which foods make me feel light and good after eating, versus heavy and tired. Tip: Keep track of what you notice in a food journal to help you find the foods that make your body feel its best!
- Mindful Doing: This is my main focus of the year. Whatever I am doing, I make an active effort to stay focused solely on that single task. Whether it's writing this post, fulfilling orders, or simply walking up the stairs, instead of rushing to check a task off my to-do list or focusing on my end goal or destination, I put all of my mental energy into focusing on the task that I am doing right now. Any time a distraction or interruption comes up, I handle it in one of 2 ways:
- If it needs immediate attention, I switch my focus to the new task fully until it's completed, before returning to what I was doing.
- If it's a distraction that doesn't need attending to, then I redirect my focus each and every time I catch it wavering. Tip: Think of yourself as a master archer, aiming and re-aiming the arrow of your mind (attention + awareness) to your target (presence + being centered fully in the now). Some days are easy, some are hard, but such is the truth with all things. Simply set your mind to do it and do it regardless of what comes your way!
- Afternoon Tea: This is by far my favorite daily ritual because it never fails to realign me with my center. I drink my afternoon tea in complete silence as I stare out at the sky, meditating on every warm sip and sensation, allowing it to warm and center me. I can't explain how relaxing and healing this ritual can be for me. It is a gift that I give myself each and every day. I'm literally soothed just thinking about it! Tip: Take your time and truly enjoy the experience. Close your eyes as you take each sip and allow its warmth to radiate within you!
- Meditation: It doesn't matter where I am, wherever I can find the time and space to go within, I take it. While I haven’t been able to keep up with my 4:30am meditations since launching Simply Smita, whether it’s 5 minutes, 20, or an hour, I begin and end every day with meditation. This has been the key to my mental peace of mind and overall well-being. For tips on how to meditate, check out this post :)
- Love: No matter how my day is going, I find one way to Spread Love. Whether it's performing an anonymous act of kindness or simply sending a thoughtful note to a loved one, as I share and give joy to others, the more Love and Light I find growing within me. It helps me to realize that there is an infinite well of Love inside us all. Tip: Love everything! No matter what comes your way, focus on thinking and radiating Love 💖
When I stop to truly see throughout my day, I realize that opportunities to go within and be present are overflowing everywhere I look. The trick is pausing and allowing ourselves to see and flow with open, loving awareness.
With Love + Light,