Boost your well-being, get healthier, happier and more productive with a regular, simple and easy mindfulness practice, and it only requires 1 minute of your time.
Photo creds: Life of Mikey for Unsplash
“The little moments? The little things? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
We all want to live healthier lives, be more productive, creative and effective. But with the tsunami of information we receive daily, we feel emotionally overwhelmed, physically and mentally tired, and it is hard to know exactly what to do to achieve that goal. Well, one thing is certain, if we have a healthy mind we will have a healthy body and will be able to take care of every other aspect of our lives. When our minds and bodies are healthier, our lives are healthier, and everything else is too. Mindfulness is the solution.
Mindfulness is “1) the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; 2) a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Besides sitting in meditation, mindfulness can be achieved by many different, simple and easy ways: mindful walk, mindful eating, observing our breath, observing our feelings, and many others. Today, I am suggesting a very effective solution: a simple and easy practice that only takes 1 minute of your time.
What the present moment brings us
You may or may not know this but since my son started high school this year (and joined the water polo team) I’ve been waking up at 4:45 am so he can be on the pool deck at 5:45 am for the morning practice. 5 days a week! Yes, I said 5 days a week! Waking up that early, once you get used to it, has its perks. For one, by 10:00 am I have already accomplished a ton and that gives me a ‘feel good’ feeling! Second, my drive there and back is super smooth (no traffic) and I get to see pretty amazing sunrises! I mean, jaw-dropping images!
The Golden Gate patrol officers enjoy pretty amazing sunrises!
We had very hot days last week and that means orange/red skies in the morning. As I was driving home one morning after dropping Gus off, I was amazed by the insanely vibrant orange sunrise and then I noticed 3 Golden Gate patrol officers leaning on the ledge of the bridge, together, talking, watching the sun rising beside Alcatraz. The sunrise image in itself was gorgeous but the image of the officers enjoying that moment warmed my heart and made me so happy: they took the time to appreciate the sunrise!
I was surprised by my emotional reaction and then it came to me: my mom used to remind me that I live in an amazingly beautiful place, a postcard place really! She used to say “a little piece of paradise”. A place where people from around the globe come to visit.I try to not take that for granted. So I was grateful to see that those officers don’t take those moments for granted either.
Living in a super-busy, ‘I-don’t-have-time-for-this-right-now’ era
In a time where we are bombarded with information from so many directions, so many things needing our immediate attention, it’s easy to lose track of time and get lost in our worries and concerns. It’s hard to stay present. So that moment warmed my heart and made me grateful for the officers, and for myself too for the kind reminder.
Author Myrko Thum tells us: “The present moment is the only thing where there is no time. It is the point between past and future. It is always there and it is the only point we can access in time. Everything that happens, happens in the present moment. Everything that ever happened and will ever happen can only happen in the present moment. It is impossible for anything to exist outside of it.”
Mindful Minute Practice
So how can we make sure we don’t waste moments like these? Of course, a gorgeous sunrise or sunset is hard to miss, so what about small wonderful little things that happen every day? How can we make sure we won’t miss them? That we won’t take them for granted? Mindful meditation, mindful walk, mindful living would be good answers but what if you don’t have a lot of time? I have an answer for you: mindful minute!
We may not always have the time to meditate we wished we had, but we all have 1 minute! Mindfulness meditation does not have to take a certain amount of time. 1 minute, several times a day can be extremely effective in teaching us to be more present in life. I always feel so much calmer, more energetic, grounded and with a clearer mind after a mindful minute. Let’s do it.
How do we do it?
Several times a day, stop and tune in to your senses:
When should we do it?
Whenever you can or remember to do it but try to stay consistent to develop a habit. I had alarms set in my phone several times a day at the beginning of my practice. I still have the alarms as a reminder. (To start pick 2-3 times suggested below:)
Why should you try?
Oh, because of the benefits you will reap. Research has shown that mindfulness can change the physiology of the body and brain in ways that strengthen, heal and protect.
- improved well-being: helps us become fully engaged in activities, creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events, less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
- improved physical health: helps relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
- improved mental health: restores emotional balance, improves concentration, helps in the treatment of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationships’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
And these are just to mention a few!
1 minute! That’s all it takes!
1 minute! We all have several 1-minute throughout our days. Set up your alarm and get started! The “mindful minute” can complement your regular meditation practice. Know that it will be highly effective if it becomes a daily practice for you.
My clients tell me time and time again how powerful this simple practice is for them. It helps them get centered and balanced, stay focused and on task, manage and regulate their emotions as well as others’. It even helps them with conflict management and problem-solving.
This is the photo I took when driving back home, not as pretty as the one from Life by Mikey from the beginning of this blog, but still pretty spectacular.
I’ve created this fun infographic for you. CLICK HERE to download. Feel free to print it and put it everywhere as a reminder to practice your Mindful Minute.
Focusing on what matters most, let’s improve our communication and transform our interactions one conversation at a time.