How to Use Mindfulness at Home

Not only is doing mindfulness meditation and exercise at home convenient, but it also helps you to enjoy your everyday activities as well. Then, rather than seeing chores as a burden, you may begin to see them as opportunities to enjoy the present moment as it is.

Wake up mindfully

When you wake up, breathe three mindful breaths. Feel the whole of each in-breath and the whole of each out-breath. Try adding a smile to the equation if you like. Think of three things you’re grateful for – a loved one, your home, your body, your next meal – anything. Then slowly get up.

Enjoy a good stretch. imagine you’re a cat and feel your muscles elongate having been confined to the warmth of your bed all night. If you want to, do some mindful yoga or tai chi.

Then, if you can, do some formal mindful meditation. You can do five minutes of mindful breathing, a 45-minute sitting meditation, or a body scan meditation – choose what feels right for you.

Do everyday tasks with mindful awareness

The word chore makes routine housework unpleasant before you’ve even started. Give your chores a different name to help spice them up, such as dirt-bursting, vacuum-dancing, mopping ‘n’ bopping, or home sparkling!

The great thing about everyday jobs, including eating, is that they’re slow, repetitive physical tasks, which makes them ideal for mindfulness. Here are a couple of examples to get you started.

Washing dishes

By connecting with the process of dishwashing, you may fell calmer and relaxed, renewed and ready to do a bit more creative work.

Have a go:

  1. Be aware of the situation.

    Take a moment to look at the dishes. How dirty are they? Notice the stains. See how the dishes are placed. What color are they? Now move into your body. Become aware of any emotions you feel. Consider what sort of thoughts are running through your mind.

  2. Begin cleaning, slowly to begin with.

    Feel the warmth of the water. Notice the bubbles forming and the rainbow reflections in the light. Let the washing-up liquid do the work of cleaning. When the dish looks completely clean, wash the bubbles off. Allow yourself to see how you’ve transformed a grimy, mucky plate into a spotless, sparkling one. Be childlike in your sense of wonder as you wash.

  3. 3.Try to wash each dish as if for the first time.

    Keep letting go of the idea of finishing the job or the other things you could be doing.

  4. When you’ve finished, look at what you’ve done.

    Look at the dishes and how they’ve been transformed through your mindful awareness and gentle activity. Congratulate yourself on having taken the time to wash the dishes in a mindful way, thereby training your mind at the same time.

Vacuuming

Using the vacuum cleaner, another common activity in many people’s lives, is usually done while your mind is thinking about other things. Try these steps to experience mindfulness while vacuuming:

  1. Begin by noticing the area you want to clean.

    What does it look like and how dirty is the floor? Notice any objects that may obstruct your vacuuming. Become mindful of your own physical body, your emotions, and thoughts running through your mind.

  2. Tidy up the area so you can use the vacuum cleaner in one go, without stopping, if you can.

    This ensures you have time to get into the rhythm of the activity without stopping and starting, helping you to focus.

  3. Switch the vacuum cleaner on.

    Notice the quality of the sound and feel the vibrations in your arm. Begin moving the vacuum cleaner, getting into a calm rhythm if possible.

  4. When you’ve finished, switch off and observe how you feel.

    How was the process different to how you normally vacuum the floor? Look at what you’ve done and be proud of your achievement.

Mindful eating

Regular, daily mindfulness meditation practice is a key aspect of mindful eating. This acts as a foundation from which you can build a mindful-eating lifestyle. The discipline of mindfulness makes you aware of your emotions and thoughts that lead you to eating particular foods.

Here’s how to eat a meal mindfully:

  1. Remove distractions.

    Turn off the television, radio and all other electronics. Put aside any newspapers, magazines and books. All you need is you, and your meal.

  2. Carry out three minutes of mindful breathing.

    Sit with your back upright but not stiff, and feel the sensations of your breathing.

  3. Become aware of your food.

    Notice the range of colors on the plate. Inhale the smell. Remember how fortunate you are to have a meal today and be grateful for what you have.

  4. Observe your body.

    Are you salivating? Do you feel hungry? What thoughts are going through your head right now? Can you see them as just thoughts rather than facts?

  5. Now slowly place a morsel of food into your mouth.

    Be mindful of the taste, smell and texture of the food as you chew. Put your cutlery down as you chew. Don’t eat the next mouthful until you’ve fully chewed this one.

  6. When you’re ready, take the next mouthful in the same way.

    As you continue to eat mindfully, be aware of your stomach and the feeling of being full. As soon as you feel you’ve had enough to eat, stop.

  7. If you feel full, but still have the desire to eat more, try doing another three minutes of mindful breathing.

    Remember that the thought ‘I need to eat’ is just a thought. You don’t have to obey the thought and eat if that’s not the best thing for you.

Try eating in this way once a day for a week or two and become mindful of the effect it has.

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