Man brushing his teeth

Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Your Everyday Tasks

The essence of mindfulness is recognizing that the present moment is all we can control. This is done by resting our attention on the present, focusing on our breath or other bodily sensations and returning to the present when our mind wanders. These simple practices can create more happiness and joy in our lives.

Mindfulness has many benefits. Mindfulness enhances emotional well-being, reducing stress and anxiety. It also improves focus, leading to better decision-making and overall mental clarity. Mindfulness can also have other health benefits like regulating inflammation and sleep as well as reducing blood pressure.

So how can you practice mindfulness? Mindfulness can be practiced in numerous ways throughout the day. It doesn’t even require much time. Here are some ways to practice being mindful in your everyday activities:

  • You can be mindful in the car. Focus on the steering wheel in your hand, the vibration of the vehicle or the sound of the vehicle.
  • When you’re making the bed, feel the texture of the bedspread, the softness of the sheets, and the firmness of the mattress or pillow.
  • When you’re in the shower or bath, feel the water on your skin. Notice the smell of the soap and texture of the bubbles of the soap on the skin. Acknowledge the warmth or coolness of the water.
  • If you’re eating, take in the sensation of biting into food along with the taste or texture of the food. Be aware of how the food feels in your mouth and how it feels swallowing the food.
  • When you’re brushing your teeth, feel the bristles of the toothbrush against the gums and teeth. Recognize the texture and taste of the toothpaste.

Sometimes we can get so caught up in daily activities that we forget to focus on the present moment. Focusing on tasks or responsibilities from the past or future can prevent us from being in the present.

When you’re in a conversation, being mindful can lead to better communication and understanding. Check out these tips for better mindful communication:

Sometimes during the day, we may get stressed or overwhelmed with work or life burdens. We might need to recenter. One way to relieve this stress is by going outside and being grounded in nature. Watch this video and discover the benefits of being mindful while being in nature:

NCHPAD Mindfulness Curriculum Coordinator Emily Hornsby shared these benefits and tips for being mindful throughout the day:

Mindfulness is paying attention to what is going on in and around you moment by moment without judgment. Another way of thinking about mindfulness is being in “the flow.” When you are engaged in an activity just for the sake of being engaged in that activity, and you are not thinking about the future or ruminating about the past, you are in “the flow.”

You can practice mindfulness, or being in “the flow,” in your everyday activities like washing the dishes, taking a shower or taking a walk in nature. When you are paying attention to the way the warm soapy water feels on your hands when you are washing dishes, and how the sponge feels in your hand as you clean the dishes, you are mindfully washing dishes.

When you are taking a walk in nature and you pay attention to the sound of the breeze when it blows through leaves on a tree, or the smell of honeysuckle, or the sound of birds or squirrels scurrying on the ground, you are taking a mindful walk in nature.

When thoughts come into your awareness, you acknowledge them without judgment, and then decide whether you want to rest your attention on that thought or if you would rather let that thought go like a cloud in the sky and return to the present moment.

Practicing mindfulness in your everyday activities retrains your brain as you are creating new neural pathways towards more joy and happiness. We are happiest when we are present and not thinking or worrying. Try mindfulness in your everyday activities and see how it goes!

You can learn more about mindfulness through our website articles and videos on YouTube