Alternatives to Formal Mindfulness Exercises

Apart from formal mindfulness practice, with a bit of creativity mindfulness can be incorporated into a variety of daily activities. For example, you can pay attention to your bodily movements while walking or talking to others. You might try to be mindful while doing mundane daily chores like shopping, cleaning or washing. It can be useful to use mindfulness skills on activities that we often do on “auto-pilot”, such as driving, showering or brushing teeth.

In these situations, the aim is to give your full attention to the activity, paying attention to every minute detail of the chore. Very likely, thoughts about how irritating or boring the activity is will enter your mind. When this happens, simply acknowledge them and refocus your attention on your activity.

You can also use mindfulness to enhance the experience of already pleasant experiences – eating, drinking, having a bath, swimming, walks on the beach to name a few. Using mindfulness skills, you are essentially widening your focus to include a much larger range of sensations available to you. Often you become aware of sensations you otherwise have missed every other time you engaged in that activity. See mindful eating; mindfulness of the breath.

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