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12 Ways to Sneak a Little Mindfulness Into Your Daily Routine

Turns out, there are plenty of mundane tasks that you can turn into mindful activities
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Minds wander. A lot. It's normal, but sometimes it can leave you engrossed in all the daily minutiae currently stressing you out. As if your extremely busy and demanding life isn't already overwhelming enough, right?

And that's where mindfulness comes in: It trains your mind to be present so you can be fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surroundings. It can help with anxiety, while increasing productivity and improving your relationships... and we could all use a little of that.

The only problem? Making a commitment and taking the time out of your day to practice mindfulness is hard: You're so used to running from appointment to appointment, all your deadlines, tasks, hurdles, etc. Honestly, it's tough to find room in your schedule.

Luckily, it's actually pretty easy to incorporate into your existing routine and schedule — you see, you can practice mindfulness while you go about daily activities. Meditate a little during your commute, while you do the dishes, when you chat with coworkers... trust us, it'll help you refresh your mind multiple times in a day. Keep reading for 12 daily situations where you can easily apply mindfulness.

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Wake up with a purpose

Your mind is at its freshest state when you wake up. Don't use that moment to bombard yourself with social media updates — after all, you don't want to catch the FOMO so early. Take this opportunity to set a positive and in-control mood for the rest of the day.

So, instead of reaching for your phone...

Sit up straight and close your eyes. Feel the sensations of your body and pay attention to what you're feeling. Are you tired? Refreshed? Stretch your muscles and focus on how they feel. Notice how the sheets or the rays of the sun feels against your skin.

Then, take three deep breaths and set your intention for the day and write it down. Hear us out before you skip and think it's corny: A simple reminder and goal for the day can really ground you and give you a purpose. It can be as simple as "I'll have fun and eat healthy food" or "I will be kinder to myself and others." It doesn't have to be a full paragraph of affirmation (but feel free to go for it if you want to).

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Have breakfast with all your senses

You may think that your senses are automatically on in your waking hours. While that may be true, it doesn't mean that you are using them to the fullest. As ridiculous as it sounds, you really have to wake up all your senses and exercise them. Instead of daydreaming about your next vacation or worrying about your deadlines, focus on what you're currently tasting, smelling, touching, hearing, and seeing. Pay attention to the aroma of your coffee, the texture of your omelet, and the taste of your toast. This will turn your breakfast into a full experience.

Maximizing your senses is a way to practice being mindful. Exercising them early in the morning will remind you to do the same throughout the day. This will help you observe your surroundings and stay present.

Also, now you can brag how you worked out before going to work (... just not your muscles).

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Focus on brushing your teeth

You're so used to brushing your teeth multiple times a day (we hope) that your mind immediately goes on autopilot even before you pick up your toothbrush. Because it's so mundane, it will feel like there are more important things to think about like your scheduled meeting at 10 AM or the documents you've got to process in the afternoon. Those are the perfect ingredients to stress you out so early!

Why don't you let your mind process how cold the tiles are against your feet? Take a moment to examine the color and taste of your toothpaste. Be mindful of how you brush your teeth and the sound it makes. Focus on cleaning every tooth and gum.

Bonus: You won't just feel calmer — your dentist will also be happy on your next appointment!

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Take note of your shower routine

Shower time is the perfect time to daydream. While that may feel relaxing, it doesn't help in clearing your mind. So instead, take the moment to feel the warm water washing your skin and the smell of your soap and shampoo. You'll notice your mind wandering, but snap back to the sound of the water splashing and the next step in your regimen. By integrating a little mindfulness into your shower routine, you'll be left with a clean body and a clear head.

Also, remember that a wandering mind is natural — so don't beat yourself up if you get off track; it's totally normal. Just try to go back to being mindful once you notice.

Image via Imaxtree

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