What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment. In the here and the now.
However, in the reality, mindfulness is not easy for most of us. Sometimes, we caught ourselves in our work, on our emotions, or in our distractions. But, you can train yourself to be mindful.
Mindfulness practice itself is pretty simple. Many of us think that we need to meditate to gain mindfulness. In a way, yes, meditation helps us to become more mindful in life. However, you don’t need to meditate to be mindful! You only need to be aware of the present moment. Be aware of your thoughts, feelings, what you do, what you see, and be aware of the environment around you.
Mindfulness can help you to relieve stress, improve your mood, become calmer, and improve your overall wellbeing. To get the benefit of mindfulness, you need to practice it outside the meditation session. The good news is, you can practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life. If you want to be more mindful every day, then you can follow these simple mindfulness practices. I’ve made a 31-day challenge for you to try!
How to Do This Challenge
In this post, you will find the 31 mindfulness practices you can do each day. You can do the practice once each day, several times a day, or do some mindfulness practices a day! How you do mindfulness practice is up to you.
Alternatively, you can download the checklist to your inbox by sign up in the form below.
31 Day Challenge of Mindfulness Practice
1. Take 5 minutes of mindful breath in the morning. Here are several ideas to take a mindful breath: 4-4-4-4 box breathing: breath to your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, release for 4 seconds, and hold again for 4 seconds. Then, repeat the cycle. 4-7-8 pranayama breathing: breath to your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 8 seconds, and release for 4 seconds. Then, you can repeat the cycle again.
2. Open your window and see the sky for a few minutes. Recognize the weather, see the clouds moving, or see the color of the sky.
3. Sit still in your chair, cushion, or sofa and close your eyes for a moment. Feel your skin touch your clothes or your legs on the floor.
4. Do a body scan and notice your bodily response. Listen to your heartbeat, notice your lungs breathing, or feel your hand resting on your lap.
5. Eat your meals mindfully. Chew the food slowly, taste every bit of your food, look to your meals only (not looking at your phone or tv), and notice the texture of your food.
6. Listen to music with eyes closed, preferably using headphones. Notice the instrument, the rhythm, the vocal, and the feeling that comes from the music.
7. Stretch your body for a few minutes. Feel the stretch of your muscles and cracks in your joints.
8. Smile to yourself in front of a mirror or by closing your eyes. Also, you can try to recite positive affirmations to yourself.
9. Close your eyes and hear the sound around you for a moment.
10. Take a mindful shower by noticing your bodily sensation. Smell the soap, feel your hand cleaning your body, and feel the water run through your skin.
11. Notice the water when you wash your hand. Notice how you touch your hand and clean it.
12. Diffuse essential oil. Take a deep breath and feel the smell, see how the diffuser works, and see how the water evaporates.
13. Mindfully cook something healthy or make a drink. See the texture of your food, the spices you put into, and how you cook it.
14. Drink a glass of water mindfully. Sit down, drink the water, and feel how the water runs through your body.
15. Look around you and notice 3 details you never see before.
16. See the sunset or sunrise from your home.
17. Mindful listening to your partner or friends when they are around. Put down your phone and be genuinely interested in them.
18. Massage your hand, legs, head, neck, or other body parts. Feel the sensation in your body when you massage yourself.
19. Take a brisk walk around your neighbors. Acknowledge as many things as you can from the outside.
20. Take a one-second pause and think before you talk with other people.
21. Write down your stream of consciousness in a physical or digital journal. Be free, no need to filter what you think.
22. List 3 things you are grateful for today.
23. Note down your feelings in your journal.
24. Write down what activities you do today and realize how you use your time.
25. Read a book without distraction by turn off your phone notifications.
26. Look at the plants, pictures, or paintings you have in your room. Notice the color, the shape, and the texture of it.
27. Examine your body. Look how hard is your nails, the color of your hair, the lines on your palm, or the shape of your feet.
28. Feel the texture of things around you. Touch your clothes, your sofa, or your mirror.
29. Walk to another room mindfully and close the door gently.
30. Watch a relaxing movie or videos like nature documentaries, cooking videos, or cat videos.
31. Take mindful breathing before you sleep.
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Mindfulness practice in daily life
You can start your mindfulness journey anytime in your day. I think we don’t need to wait for a new day, a new month, even a new year to practice mindfulness. Because, why wait to reap the benefit of mindfulness? Just start it right away.
The magic of mindfulness is that you can apply mindfulness in every aspect of your life! As someone who works in a finance job, mindfulness helps me to have a better work-life balance. It leads me to prioritize my mental health by focusing on self-care and healthy living. I even try to practice self-care at work (it might sound a bit weird, but yes, you can practice self-care at work!).
Personally, I stumbled to mindfulness after trying meditation apps. In a way, meditation can help you to cultivate mindfulness. If you want to try to meditate at no cost, here are 11 free mindfulness meditation apps that you can try in 2021.
Hopefully, this challenge will help you to be more mindful in your daily life. What’s your thought on mindfulness? I’d love to hear yours in the comment below.