A little over two weeks ago I designated mindfulness as my main focus for 2017. In order to make it easier on myself, I decided to choose a “mindfulness method” for each month. My method for January has been abdominal breathing.
Here are a few things I’ve observed so far.
- Even with a “method” to rely on, remembering to stay mindful takes a ton of discipline. However….
- Having a designated place to focus my attention has been helpful. Bringing my attention back to my breath – when I notice myself living unconsciously, at least – is starting to become automatic.
- Abdominal breathing is a very effective way to engage with the present moment. It quickly takes me out of my head and into my body.
- My focus and productivity seem to increase whenever I’m conscious of my breath.
I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard for the past two weeks, which has resulted in a pretty sporadic mindfulness practice. That’s why I think that last observation is the most important one. It shows me that there doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between my focus on mindfulness and hustling towards my goals. In fact, mindfulness seems to make my efforts much more effective.
The key for me now is making sure my mindfulness practice doesn’t get overshadowed by other concerns in my life. I want to learn how to stay mindful even when my external life is chaotic. Maybe I’ll have to start setting mindfulness reminders on my phone or invest in one of those mindfulness apps. Anything to make mindfulness a habitual part of my life.
How do you remember to stay mindful throughout the day?