This post is Part III in a 3-part series on using mindfulness with each of the 5 senses. If you missed the first two posts, you can find them here:
- Part I – Mindfulness Exercises for the 5 Sense
- Part II – Sensory Activities to Increase Mindfulness and Awareness
In them, I promised to outline not just the exercises you can use to develop a heightened state of awareness, but also a few tips on how to apply them to your daily life.
So, in this post, I’ll explain how to use mindfulness to increase your awareness, in several different situations. I’ll break these down by the amount of time you have in each scenario.
For a more comprehensive overview, you might also want to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness to learn more about how you can start a mindfulness practice in your life.
Mindfulness and Meditation – 10 Minutes or More
Most mindfulness practices can be adopted to fit any length of time. But, if you have a good chunk of time available to you, one of the best techniques you can use is to combine a mindfulness exercise with a meditation.
There are many different types of mindfulness meditations available, but the important thing to consider is to make sure that the meditation feels right to you. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ style of meditation, the best one is the one that fits you the best!
That said, mindfulness meditations will often guide you through visualizations that focus on different parts of the body, either by guiding you through the five senses, or by helping you to increase your energy to activate your light body.
If you’re looking for a guided mindfulness meditation, here are two I really enjoy:
- Guided Mindfulness Meditation to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
- Body Scan Meditation for Mindfulness and Light Energy
You might also want to try this walking meditation technique as another way to work with mindfulness when you have at least 10-15 minutes.
Short Mindfulness Exercises – 5 Minutes or Less
Of course, it’s not always possible to have a long, seated meditation, and meditation is only one way to become more mindful.
There are many other mindfulness exercises you can do in 5 minutes or less, and the 5 sensory exercises I outlined in Parts 1 and 2 of this series are perfect examples.
For any exercise lasting around 5 minutes, it is important that you take the time to ‘open’ and ‘close’ the exercise by silently taking a few moments to focus on your breath, both before you begin and as you draw the exercise to a close.
You do not, however, need to be in a silent space. Walking gently through a park can be just as valid an exercise as sitting to meditate.
For more ideas, you can see this list of mindfulness exercises.
Mindfulness Techniques for Busy People – Less than 1 Minute
Lastly, how can you practice mindfulness if you are too busy for even a few minutes of me time?
The answer is simple: just ‘step back’ and observe your breath, your body, and your surroundings. Pick sometime to focus on for a few seconds, and center your attention completely on that object, whether it is the motion of your breath, or the petals of a flower.
You can even do a short mindfulness exercise while you are engaged in another task (by bringing your attention fully into that task and becoming present in the moment), or in short moments of downtime when you’re switching between tasks, running errands, or even stopped at a red light.
The point is, if you learn to become aware of what you’re paying attention to, there is never a shortage of opportunities for you to become more mindful, and live your life with a higher degree of awareness.