It is easy to forget to pay attention to our basic everyday experiences or the present moment, which is a central component of mindfulness. One excellent way of improving our ability to recapture our awareness involves the use of reminders. Many people make lists or use post-it notes, place items near the front door, or set alarms on their phones as reminders for important tasks to complete. This same approach can be incorporated into your mindfulness practice!
Try practicing one of the following approaches for setting reminders or cues to recapture your awareness and develop a habit for practicing mindfulness.
Select one repetitive task that occurs throughout your day. For example, you might select checking your email or social media, walking your dog, or preparing a meal. Practice using these tasks as cues to practice mindfulness. Try pausing for a moment and observing your breathing. You might try counting ten breaths before moving forward with checking your inbox. You can incorporate other mindfulness or grounding techniques here as well or simply notice the sights and sounds in your immediate environment. Eventually you will create a habit of practicing mindfulness every time you check your email or receive a new email notification!
As an alternative, select one repetitive behavior that occurs throughout your day. For example, you might select something such as taking a drink of water or sitting down. Practice using one of these behaviors as a reminder or cue to practice mindfulness. Eventually you will create a habit of practicing mindfulness by recapturing your present moment awareness every time you sit down on your couch or in your office chair.
Whether a behavior or task, try finding a reminder or a cue that is most useful to you and can easily be incorporated on a daily basis. You might try several different behaviors or tasks when getting started. Once you find what works for you, practice and keep track of your success so that you can reinforce your new mindfulness habit.
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Visit us at lindquistpsych.com
Sign up below to receive our weekly blog to your inbox
Check out our recent video uploads: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0XBEVbTwiP5C7NuiwaqepQ