Tips To Slip In Mindfulness Throughout A Busy Day
We speak Eric Lim, a Mindfulness Psychologist from Brahm Centre, to share with us how to slip in some mindfulness exercises throughout our busy days!
Mr. Eric Lim
Mindfulness Psychologist and Data Manager at Brahm Centre
"1. I am a working adult and caring for my loved ones. How can I find time to practise mindfulness?"
You can practise mindfulness by just bringing awareness to what you are already doing during the day. You can ask yourself, "Am I aware of what I am doing right now? How does my body feel in the moment? How about my mind?" All it takes to practise mindfulness is to intentionally bring your attention to the present moment and tune in to the here and now.
"2. I can only spare 5 minutes a day, is that enough? What mindfulness practice can I do in my daily routine?"
Yes, even 5 minutes a day helps boost our sense of well-being and focus. You can consider taking mindful pauses using the .b technique (“dot-B”, or stop and breathe) throughout the day. Allow yourself to stop what you are doing, tune in your breathing and reconnect to the present moment.
If you notice the mind wandering away to things you need to do, gently guide your attention back to sense where you feel your breath the most in the body.
"3. How can I practise mindfulness when I'm under stress or feel like I'm at my limit?"
The most critical time to practise mindfulness is when we need it the most, especially when feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Allow yourself to take a pause, breathe and rest in just being present with yourself. You may even say to yourself, "I can choose to be with things are they are. May I be well and happy". Becoming aware of the habits of the mind, such as rumination or worrying, you can often steer back to the present moment that matter and be kind to yourself.
"4. What kind of environment should I be in to practise mindfulness? Can I do it while commuting or while I'm doing something else?"
You can practise mindfulness in most environments, so long as it's safe. You can practise mindfulness while commuting on public transport, be it focusing on your breath or even engaging in a body scan practice using a guided audio track. Mindfulness is about bringing intentional awareness to this moment with kindness. I would not recommend practising a formal mindfulness practice while doing something else.
"5. I live with my parents and children; the only place I can be alone at home is in the toilet. What kind of environment should I have to practice mindfulness?"
Anywhere is acceptable, including the toilet, so long as it's a safe place for you. What matters most is not where to practise, but more importantly, the attitude we bring into the practice. It is helpful to bring a non-judgmental and kind attitude to our practice. Even if our surroundings can be distracting or perhaps unconducive, we can choose to bring awareness to our reactions and acknowledge what is arising at the moment.
"6. Can I practice mindfulness as a family activity?"
Yes, you can! One way to do this is to practise mindful eating as a family. In mindful eating, we let go of common distractions (no mobile phones, TV etc.) and intentionally bring our five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing) when we eat. We can choose to focus on the flavours, texture and aroma of the food we are eating, chewing slowly, whenever possible.
"7. Nowadays, we can't stop multitasking, and even when we watch TV, we're often also looking at our phones or thinking of something else. Caregivers must multitask so many things at the same time. How can mindfulness help us focus better?"
Mindfulness can help us focus on what we are already doing by bouncing back from distractions.
The awareness that arises helps us notice that we have been multitasking and can now choose to return to the task at hand. Caregivers often get stressed by negative thoughts about what the future may hold for their loved ones. The mental anguish, coupled with the physical strains of caregiving, can often take a toll on one's physical and mental health. While one cannot change the care recipient's condition, mindfulness can help caregivers focus on what they can do.
"8. How can I draw on my mindfulness practice to develop a better relationship with my loved ones?"
You can choose to notice the moments when we are not present with our loved ones. Practise mindful listening by listening with the presence of the heart. You can do this by intentionally attending to your loved ones without judgment, criticism or interruption. Practising mindfulness allows us to be more aware of the internal thoughts and reactions that may get in the way. By tuning in to our thoughts and emotions, we can respond better and develop a better relationship with our loved ones.