Nine Easy Ways to Slow Down, Calm Down and Incorporate Mindfulness into your Day
1. Begin Your Day with Intention
Waking up with a specific intention in mind improves our focus and proactive habits. When we have a daily motif that is aligned with our goals that we follow from the beginning of the day to the end, each day is progress toward our ideal life.
2. Take a Mindful Walk
Here is one area of mindfulness where you can actually multitask and still be mindful. Head outside to move your body, inhale fresh air and enjoy your surroundings. Make an intention when you begin to simply look for things you may otherwise overlook: a tiny acorn on the ground, the way the branches of certain trees reach upward while others droop, a splash of color in the winter, the intricacies of a snowflake.
Alternatively, you could choose to simply pay attention to the sounds you hear. What can you notice that you wouldn’t have heard if you weren’t paying attention?
3. Begin Meals with Gratitude
By saying a blessing or giving thanks for the meal we enter a space of gratitude. Then eat slowly with a mindfulness of all the factors that resulted in your food being in your home and prepared as your meal. There is so much wonder in the processes of farming to travel to preparing food, and we do it multiple times a day!
Meditation is proven to reduce stress, and the act of stopping to sit with yourself and center decreases your heart rate and helps you calm down—not just as you do it, but throughout the rest of your day, too. Your meditation can be centered around any aspect of mindfulness: intention, affirmations, simplicity, or just self-care by relaxing and organizing your thoughts or letting them flow freely.
5. Stop Multitasking
It is essentially impossible to truly multitask; when you split your attention between responsibilities, you cannot truly devote what you need to each. As you focus your attention to just one task at a time, this allows you to engage in more mindfulness within the task, as well as increasing your productivity and quality of work.
6. Take 3 Deep Breaths Before You Open Your Laptop
For whatever you need your computer for, you can find a little moment of peace to slow down before you open it by taking these breaths. A lot of our feelings of being overwhelmed come from rushing from task to task, so this little break reminds us to find time for ourselves.
7. Savor Your Cup of Coffee or Tea
If drinking a cup of coffee or tea is an everyday part of your routine, then it’s likely that you do it on auto-pilot: making and drinking it without thinking twice about why you do it (probably because you enjoy it). When we slow down enough to savor the process and the result, drinking from our daily warm mug is another pocket of joy in our day.
8. Look out the Window
I so easily become entranced by work during the day and forget about the outside world, even though my desk is right next to a window. When I feel overwhelmed or want to reconnect with the outside world, I simply move my eyes away from the computer and watch nature while breathing deeply. Sometimes, even the weather can surprise me if I look beside me and see rain, snow, or an unexpected sunny day. Not only does this allow me to slow down and calm down, but I also get to see beauty and feel joy at the reminder of nature and the complexity of life.
9. Reflect / Journal at the End of the Day
The JMB Living Journal exists because I wanted to incorporate a realistic way to increase joy, slow down, and take small steps everyday to an optimal lifestyle that is instilled with mindfulness. Taking time for yourself at the end of each day to reflect—not only on just that day, but on anything weighing on your mind—allows you to be more in-tune with yourself, your values, your dreams, and your desires.