7 Ways to Live Mindfully

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Do you find yourself constantly on the go, and you feel anxious and stressed? If so, learning to be mindful can be a great way to relax from your daily, hectic schedule. Below are seven ways you can live more mindfully.

1. Do your activities slowly

Your day will most likely consist of a number of activities mainly to do with your work and your family and friends. Do you tasks slowly and deliberately. In effect, give your entire focus to what it is you’re doing and take your time to do so.

2. Do one thing before starting another

Multitasking is a great skill to have. However, if doing many activities at once leaves you feeling overwhelmed then it’s not really helping you. Instead, attend to one thing until you have completed it, before moving onto another.

3. Take time to focus on your breathing

Mindfulness Meditation involves observing your breathing go and in out, while observing thoughts and emotions arising and passing, without getting attached to them. Spend 5-10 minutes every day observing your respiration like this and notice what it is like to be totally in the present moment.

4. Eat slower

Have you ever sat down for dinner, but all you can think of is work or some other issue troubling you? A way to counter this is to eat slowly and taste the food you’re eating. Notice the texture of the food in your mouth, and how hot or cold it is. Observe what it feels like as you swallow the food.

5. Reduce your agenda

One frame of mind you can get into is thinking you have to do everything all at once. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is always time to do what you want to, and the plan to do so can be spread over an extended period of time. By reducing your daily activities, you will feel less tense as there is less for you to do. Also, you end up doing what you’re doing, better.

6. Watch those thoughts about the past and the future

If you’re mind is occupied with thoughts about the past or the future, then it will not be resting. Instead let the past remain in the past and let the future happen in the present, the only time when it really can happen.

7. Learn to accept change

Emotional turmoil occurs when you resist change . This can be resisting variations in your moods. It could be fighting undesirable events that happen in your life. It makes no sense to fight change, as it will always happen. Instead, accept whatever emerges in your inner world in terms of thoughts and emotions, and in the outside world, too. Work with what happens. Doing so will enable you to notice how things are always in a state of flux. Subsequently, you give yourself the opportunity to use what happens in your life as a source to get done what you want to.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• What other ways can we use to live more mindfully?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.

Photo Credit: Angela Schmeidel Randall

39 Comments
  1. Hi Hiten,

    Lovely post yet again 🙂

    I loved the picture that says it all – mind full or mindful 🙂 Yes indeed, most of the time our minds ARE full of things to do, or we keep thinking about the work to be done all the time, which stops us from living in the moment that just pass by so quickly. We really aren’t able to take in those precious passing moments that never return.

    You are so right in the seven ways you mentioned, though most of us don’t do these things. I am guilty of not doing some of them too. like I am in a rush where work is concerned and very often I do multi-task even though I know it’s not good as i write so often about it all at my blog! And because there is lots to catch up with, then one thing leads to another – you are eating fast, sleeping less, not spending quality time with your loved ones, and not just being who you ought to be, nor living in the moment as you should be! It’s all so-so bad.

    However, when we know the problem, we also know the solution, and all of it lies in our hands itself. We are the ones who need to be mindful and take the required action to live a happy and peaceful life.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m really glad you liked the post and many thanks for leaving such a great comment, my friend.

      Indeed, when I saw the photo I’ve used for this post on Flickr I thought it captured the essence of being truly mindful as opposed to having a mind that is overworking, brilliantly.

      Absolutely, I agree the points do require effort and the one about multitasking is a tricky one. I personally find this one the most difficult and have to make conscious effort to take one thing at a time. Before I know, it I’m multitasking again.

      As you said in your comment, when we acknowledge a problem, we also open the doors to the solution and the choice to take action and be mindful rests firmly in our hands.

      Many thanks for your wonderful comment, Harleena and I do appreciate your support.

      Have a wonderful week ahead!

  2. Great advice in this post, Hiten – I’ve recently started a regular daily meditation session and I’m sure it’s already making a difference to me.

    Your second point, about doing one thing at a time, is particularly pertinent in the modern age, when we’re all so hooked into ‘multitasking’ – apart from making you stressed, I think it’s actually very inefficient to try doing lots of things at once. My computer doesn’t like it much, either – it tends to slow down and play up when I’ve got lots of screens and tabs open at the same time! I reckon my brain reacts the same way 😉

    I know I eat and drink too quickly, so thanks for reminding me about that – I must make a conscious effort to slow down. It’s an insult to the food and whoever’s cooked it, too, just to gobble it down, hardly tasting it.

    I think you’ve given us a really comprehensive list here. The only thing I’d add, which is probably inherent in your last point, is to recognise that we have a choice about how we react to life events, particularly the bad ones – and not to blame things that happen, or other people, for the way we feel. It’s not what happens to us, or what other people do to us, that matters so much as how we respond.

    Thanks, Hiten – I’m going to eat my dinner very slowly tonight 🙂

    Sue

    1. Hi Sue,

      I’m really glad you liked the post and it’s wonderful to hear about your regular meditation sitting and the positive impact it has having. Just the other day I was watching a programme on the BBC and the reporter mentioned that regular meditation does change the way of brains work, for the better.

      I loved the point you made about your computer getting stressed out too from overload! 🙂 Indeed, you’re right; the modern world places almost a demand on people to be able to multitask. At least we can say we know the truth and can make efforts to do less in order to do more. I agree, it is inefficient to do lots of things at the same time.

      The slowing down of the eating is something I was taught on my first meditation retreat. It was only when I practiced it did I realise that most of the time I just ate quickly, while my mind was occupied on other things. Of course, I realised that I never did really even taste the food in an objective way.

      Indeed, the additional tip you shared about having a choice about how to react, if to react at all, is a great one. I guess, with this approach we can be mindful of our responses to life events.

      Many thanks for leaving your wonderful comment and for adding so much more to this post, Sue! 🙂

    2. Sue, I really love what you wrote: “Recognise that we have a choice about how we react to life events, particularly the bad ones – and not to blame things that happen, or other people, for the way we feel.”

      I’m curious if other people think that being able to do this recognition work is something that comes with time and life experience, or if it can actually be learned and applied in young adulthood, too?

      1. Thanks, Dipika – I don’t think it just comes with time and experience – sadly, I think there are some people who live their whole lives without realising this and who never take responsibility for their own emotional reactions to life events – never realise they have a choice about how they feel. I suspect there are some people who acquire this awareness more easily and naturally, perhaps because of their personality or the way they’ve been raised. I see no reason why a younger person can’t attain it, if they have sufficient emotional maturity and self-awareness – though I guess it might be more of a challenge when you’re young and emotions and hormones are running wild!

      2. Hi Dipika,

        It’s wonderful to see you at the blog!

        Indeed, I agree with Sue. We have to take complete responsibility for our emotions and the choices we make. And it is something a younger person can strive to do. If a person can start the journey of developing mastery of themselves at an earlier stage, then this can be only be a good thing and serve the person later on in life.

  3. We watched that Horizon program too, Hiten – it was fascinating. My husband’s a worrier, just like the guy who fronted the show, and I’m trying to persuade him to try some meditation 😉

    Sue

    1. Hi Sue,

      It’s wonderful that you watched the Horizon program as well! Hope you can persuade your husband to try out meditation. It is such an amazing tool to deal with worry.

      Have a great week ahead! 🙂

  4. Great topic ,Hiten, and very sound advice. I’m recognizing more and more how much an active mind is a blessing and a liability at the same time. It’s such a challenge to quiet the mind, even in meditation. As soon as I’m awake, the mind goes. In terms of your question about what else we could do to live more mindfully, I try to be an inner observer as often as possible. I don’t always manage to preempt actions stemming from a busy mind instead of a more centered place. However, I can almost always realize even if after the fact that I could have chosen better, including not saying or doing anything. Anyway, it seems that quieting our busy mind to live mindfully and not mind fully is a lifelong endeavor, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing your tips again.

    1. Hi Alice,

      It’s wonderful to see you here, my friend and I’m really glad you liked the advice in the post.

      Indeed, I can definitely relate to what you said about it being challenging to quieten the mind. It is only when I sit down to meditate do I actually realise just how much my mind has been active without having had real rest. I can appreciate the point you made about the mind going when you wake up. I too find this happens to me, and I’m making efforts to be as mindful as I can first thing.

      Many thanks for sharing the approach you use to be more mindful and I liked what you wrote about realising after an action that you might have chosen an alternative. I think even in such cases, the fact that we can objectively look at what happened and contemplate another reaction means that we learn and can choose an alternative response (which might be doing nothing) next time.

      Absolutely, learning the ability to develop mindfulness and live mindfully is a lifelong journey.

      Many thanks for your brilliant comment, Alice and have a great week!

  5. Mindfulness is such a fantastic skill to practice. And when it becomes habit, it’s a powerful mindset as well. It increases our awareness, and leads to more fulfilling days.

    The trick, though, is to find and engage in meaningful activity. You’re not going to be mindful when you’re staring at your work computer hating every second of what you do. You’re going to be wishing you were anywhere but there. In other words, you’ll be in your head fantasizing about something else.

    So find worthwhile activities and enjoy them. That’s how you’ll be able to practice your mindfulness.

    Cheers!

    1. Hi Trevor,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend and I certainly appreciate what you wrote about mindfulness in your comment. I liked the way you explained it from a mind-set perspective. Indeed, when living in this way becomes a habit, it is a mind-set.

      Ah, what you wrote about finding meaningful and worthwhile activities to help develop mindfulness is a fantastic addition to the post, and many thanks for sharing this wonderful tip.

      Thanks for commenting and have a wonderful week! Cheers.

  6. Great advice, Hiten. These are essential ways. I wish I could do number 5 but it isn’t realistic right now. There are always activities that must be done — from family to work to keeping up-to-speed and learning. Being mindful can clear up the clutter or, at least, better organize our thoughts and attention to where we are — or should be — spending our time to gain the most value. Being mindful in a chaotic world is our call to action, and you seven ways can help get us on that path. Thanks! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      I’m glad you could appreciate the advice in the post and I’m totally with you on point number 5.

      As you quite rightly said, there are always activities to be carried out. I think we can help ourselves with this one, by ensuring that we focus on those most important tasks involving work, family, and development, and double check that anything else we take on isn’t going to leave us feeling too stressed.

      What you wrote about how being mindful can help us better organise our thoughts and our attention is a powerful way to make use of mindfulness as a skill. Indeed, as you said, and also as Alice touched upon in her comment, being mindful in this busy world is something we all need to aim towards.

      Thanks for sharing some wondeful insights on this area, Jon and have a great week!

  7. You have essentially covered all the tips for mindfulness practice 🙂

    One thing I like to also do is to connect with nature. A walk or meditating in the park helps to remind me about the importance of slowing down and not getting too caught up in busy schedules.

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      It’s wonderful to see you here!

      Thanks so much for including another brilliant tip to help us live more mindfully; namely connecting with nature. Indeed, a peaceful walk can be a wonderful way to clear the mind and become centred again.

      Many thanks for leaving your great comment, my friend! 🙂

  8. This is my first visit to your blog and I found you have shared some very nice tips on dealing day to day stress of life. Many thanks for haring such a good and lovely stuff with the readers who would anyways need it most these days, when the level of tensions and stress is making a new high each day, hour, minute. 🙂

    1. Hi Sonal,

      Welcome to the blog and many thanks for adding to the discussion here!

      I’m glad you could appreciate the tips in the post. Indeed, in this day and age any effort one can make to find silence in the midst of the chaos is well worth it. 🙂

  9. Hiten – love this! Mindfulness is a conscious practice for me. And it doesn’t come easily. There are always a few different voices in my head and a couple of random songs playing along…..I’m not crazy…..

    Loving Trevor’s point about engaging in something that has some meaning. I second that.

    For me, I’ve added a little sticker to my laptop keyboard that simply states ‘be here’. Visual trigger. Works a treat.

    – Razwana

    1. Hi Razwana,

      I’m really glad you liked this post on mindfulness! Indeed, it is one of my favourite topics.

      Just like you, I too have to make conscious effort at it. Our minds and bodies are so conditioned to do everything opposite to being mindful. It’s like we have to train ourselves to approach the world from a different perspective.

      Indeed, Trevor’s point about engaging in meaningful activities made a lot of sense to me as well.

      I loved the additional tip you shared to help us live mindfully. Absolutely, there is no better reminder than a post-it note reminding us to as you said, ‘be here’. This is wonderful!

      Hope you’re having a good week, mate! The UK is sweltering. 🙂

  10. Great article Hiten,
    I think not having an agenda when doing anything is crucial when it comes to enjoying what you’re doing.
    When you go into something with expectations and things don’t work out, you end up putting too much pressure on yourself and end up losing all enjoyment of the activity you’re doing.

    1. Hi Onder,

      It’s wonderful to see you here, my friend!

      Ah, I just loved what you wrote about not having an agenda when doing things. What a wonderful re-frame this to the structured approaches we are taught right from school to always plan and plan some more. It is from spontaneity that real joy and creativity emerges.

      I can really appreciate what you said about going into something with too many expectations. We can put ourselves under so much unnecessary pressure by doing so.

      Hope you’re enjoying the glorious weather, Onder and many thanks for commenting! 🙂

  11. Mindfulness will definitely create a more content life.

    I know this is something I personally struggle with as I am constantly trying work.

    But as I’ve learned in the past this leads to burnout.

    Taking time to slow down and be okay in the moment is vital. Being in the past or the future is a serious recipe for stress.

    I have struggled with the meditation part as well. I find that when I’m super relaxed I come up with my best ideas. Which means that I have to get up and write them down instead of focusing on breathing.

    I have a feeling your book on meditation may be a pretty good investment 🙂

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Welcome to the blog and thanks so much for sharing your great views on the area of mindfulness.

      Ah, what you wrote about slowing down and being ok in the moment was just wonderful. It reminded me of a quote by Eckhart Tolle, who said something like “accept every moment like you chose it”.

      Indeed, as you quite rightly said, living in the past or the future really just means more seeds being planted for potential stress.

      It seems like you’ve discovered a wonderful way to be creative; namely from being totally relaxed. This is great!

      Many thanks for adding so much more to this post, Kevin! 🙂

  12. Hello Hiten,

    Being a driven and active person, points #1, 2, and 4 can be difficult for me. Luckily, my wife reminds me to slow down and enjoy the journey/life. She really balanced me out.

    Knowing and focusing on our top priories is another way to live and lead mindfully(which can go alone with point #5). Great post!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Ah, I just loved you comment and in particular can appreciate what you said about your wife helping you to slow down. Indeed, it is usually those closest to us who can provide us with the greatest of support and encouragement to rest and enjoy life.

      Many thanks for sharing the additional way we use to live mindfully; namely focusing on our top priorities.

      Thanks for your wonderful comment and hope you’re having a great week!

  13. Lovely and great article. Everyone should read this. One thing I want to add get a lot of rest!
    Thanks for the share.
    Seun

    1. Hi Seun,

      I’m so glad you liked the post, my friend and indeed many thanks for adding the additional tip about getting lots of rest. Ensuring that our minds and bodies are well rested can certainly help us in our efforts to be mindful.

      Many thanks for joining the discussion, Seun!

  14. Hi Hiten, it’s good to be back on your site. I used to comment here from ElevationLife.

    I see that most of living mindfully means TAKING STOCK OF THE MOMENT. Such a valuable concept and something we all need. The moments pass us by QUICKLY. Thanks for the inspiration. Hope you’re well!

    1. Hi Bryan,

      It’s great to have you back! Hope you’re well, my friend.

      What you wrote about living mindfully was great and so true. Indeed, it is as you said, and taking stock of the moment. By focusing only on this moment and what we are experiencing within us, and in our environment, without judgement, means that we truly in the now, where no sense of suffering can happen.

      Thanks for adding so much more to this post, Bryan!

  15. Another inspirational article Hiten. I love the whole concept of living mindfully, I think in no small part because I’m a major introvert so quiet time is a necessity. The one really bad habit I have that I’ve yet to break is eating at my desk – if I eat at all during the day. But when I find my mind really starting to buzz with too many things going on at the first opportunity I stop what I’m doing and take a walk. Since I’m fortunate to make my home in Maui there’s plenty of beautify scenery to calm my mind, and I always feel so refreshed and energized when I return home. Thanks for the great advice!

    1. Hi Marty,

      I’m really glad you liked the article. Like you, I too find the area of living mindfully fascinating.

      Ah, I can certainly relate to the point you made about eating at your desk. This is something I do at times as well. In order to ensure I don’t do this very often, I make a point to go for a walk particularly during lunch times to help clear my head.

      Indeed, you certainly do live in a beautiful part of the world and I’m sure the surroundings do a world of good in helping people calm their minds and rejuvenate themselves.

      Thanks for leaving your wonderful comment, Marty!

  16. Very interesting ways to live mindfully. I found the eat slowly part quite interesting. I can’t say that I eat fast but I have seen some people eating away slowly like a cow, I often wondered by they did that.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      Thanks for your comment. Indeed, the point you made about watching some people eat slowly was very interesting. I’m certain that such people are eating mindfully.

      Thanks for leaving your comment, Shalu.

  17. Hello, Hiten,
    Your image at the starting is very creative and containing lots of thinking in it. On other hand, Your article is lively and I like the way you represent it. Thank You for sharing.

  18. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to
    get the hang of it!

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