How to be mindful without meditation

9 October 2018 | by Gina Lucia

Buzzwords are popping up all over the place. Mindfulness, self-care, meditation… you get the point. They’ve become so overused that they’ve lost their meaning. Not to mention the strong link between being mindful and being spiritual.

Yeah, I’ve had enough of that. Taking care of your mind doesn’t mean you have to meditate, it doesn’t mean you have to do anything except be aware of what you’re doing.

How to be mindful without meditation

So, I’m going to tell you my tips for being mindful without meditation. These tips are really simple, they focus on you and you alone.

1. Check in with yourself

I don’t know about you, but when I’m working, writing, whatever, I tend to get ‘into the zone’. I can go for hours without getting up, looking away from my screen, or even drinking water.

Although I may be getting plenty done, if I don’t at least acknowledge my surroundings or hydrate, then I do a pretty poor job. It’s important to make sure your brain is aware of time passing so it can send signals to the rest of your body to eat, drink, or move.

So check in with yourself. Set an alarm on your phone if necessary for a tea break and take care of yourself.

2. Make decisions away from a screen

I can’t make good decisions when I’m staring at a screen. I get distracted, end up Googling the answer, or looking for ‘inspiration’ online. Screens are massive, colourful, blinking, bleeping distractions.

If you find yourself in the same position, get away from the screen. Get some paper out and sketch/write your ideas the old-fashioned way. Even if you don’t feel you need to do this, give it a go. Trust me, it allows you to re-set your brain and focus on just one task at a time.

3. Get some fresh air

We all know this. We’ve been told time and time again that fresh air and exercise is good for the brain. I know more than most how hard it is to actually get out the door though.

My trick to getting my butt outside – have something to go out for. A walk or a stroll doesn’t cut it for me. If I’m left to wander for no real reason then I’m not going to do it.

Go to the shop to get lunch, drop something off at the post office, even just take the bins out and spend an extra minute breathing in that fresh air.

4. Message somebody you care about

This speaks for itself. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own heads these days, but by checking up on someone you love, you give yourself a reset.

Usually, if I need a dose of happiness, I’ll message my husband or a close friend. But if I’m in desperate need of a friendly voice, I’ll call my dad, who I know will almost always pick up the phone.

Once the call is done, I’m feeling great and refreshed.

Being mindful without meditation is easy once you get the hang of it. You don’t have to train your mind to switch off or focus on your breath, just be aware of what you’re doing and adjust your behaviour accordingly. You’ll be so thankful you did.

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