Oftentimes, when people think of the term “mindfulness” they tend to perceive it as having to do with sitting and meditating for long periods of time. While meditation is often incorporated into mindfulness practices, it is not the be-all and end-all of mindfulness. Here are two helpful mindfulness practices that you can begin to integrate into your daily life.
“Doing mode” vs. “Being mode”
In everyday life, we pursue activities and goals, and attempt to effect change to our lives, also known as the “doing mode”. When we struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings, the “doing mode” implies that we should take action to push away thoughts or attempt to avoid difficult experiences. Mindfulness focuses on the “being mode” where we simply pay attention to our constant stream of conscious thoughts, feelings, and inner experiences. We do this with non-judgement or evaluation to simply accept the present-moment reality. By incorporating the idea of the “being mode” to our lives, we can begin to learn how to regulate our emotions better.
3-minute breathing space technique
Incorporating a 3-minute breathing space technique helps us to begin including mindfulness as a practice throughout the day. The three minute breathing space is a mini meditation where we bring awareness to the present moment, so that we step outside of being in autopilot mode. This is usually done by bringing our focus to our breath using these two steps:
- Focus your awareness on your internal experiences in this moment. Ask yourself “What am I experiencing right now?”
Notice any internal bodily sensations and emotions that you are experiencing, and just notice them without any judgement.
- Gather your attention and focus on your breath. Focus on each in and out breath. Gently bring your mind back to the breath when your mind begins to wander.
Try this breathing space technique a few times in your day to return to a mindful and accepting perspective. It is also a deliberate way to bring a pause to the experiences of everyday stressors of life.