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The Elements of Mindful Physical Activity

Practicing mindfulness while your body is moving is an important step in your journey to mindful living because you probably spend a fair amount of your day moving about engaging in all sorts of physical activities rather than just exercise itself. Life feels better in a mindful mode!

Here are the key principles of mindful physical activity:

  • You’re fully aware instead of doing the activity automatically.

  • You change your routine every now and then to break any habits and try something new.

  • You avoid being too competitive or judgmental. Instead you enjoy the activity for what it is.

  • You focus on the experience of the present moment rather than how things were last time, or on how you want to be super-fit in the future.

  • When your mind gets caught up in other thoughts, you bring your attention back to the activity.

  • As far as you can, you enjoy the activity!

If you always go running with your headphones on full blast, or daydream when doing the housework, try doing the following exercises. They may inspire you to have a go at being mindful in your activities.

  • List the benefits of being unmindful when you do your activities.

  • List the benefits of being mindful when doing activities.

  • List the most enjoyable moments while doing a physical activity. Were they mindful or automatic?

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