3 daily mindfulness challenges
Simple everyday mindfulness hacks: three daily challenges to become a happier, more mindful person. By Grace Grossmann
We are now living in a time of the ‘mindfulness mega-trend’, where ways to better ourselves are being embraced more than ever. We are burnt out and need to chill out.
Finding stillness is like a shower for the senses, and can be found through setting daily challenges; calling us to interact in our own lives by being more mindful and aware to be happier.
By setting daily challenges, one can become more mindful. Mindfulness comes from tapping into one's awareness, where challenges can help tune in to a higher state of consciousness. The ability to fully come to the present moment is enhanced through the practice of yoga or meditation, heightening levels of happiness and focus. However, mindfulness may also be heightened in daily life's occurrences; all it takes is participation in what is around you, no app included!
So let's see the three daily challenges I find reaffirming when in a fever of worry and have also proven beneficial with my past clients in wellness coaching.
1. Find something in the street you have never noticed before
Firstly, finding new things to notice is uplifting, otherwise known as serendipity: the act of stumbling across something new. I live for serendipitous moments, making this daily challenge my favourite, boosting my spirits instantly. Happiness could be lying on your doorstep and you don't even know it.
Not knowing and not paying attention are two different things, as I've noticed when moving countries. My eyes are open in a new light; I take in street corners and lights with more curiosity.
Moving around in a new city also helps to scope in on the little things, because you have to adjust to your surroundings. These past few months being new to Berlin in Germany, where I currently live, have shown me that there is always something new to see, even if it is a small sticker on a lamp post telling me to smile or about the next demonstration!
We are blessed with a life, so actively participate in it by noticing new things. Challenges are known to be hard, but this doesn't have to be; unfamiliar faces and places are everywhere waiting for your eyes to behold. Even the same old route you take to work every day has something in store to sprinkle you with positivity. Make the effort to look up and feel within. Maybe you’re stuck about what to look for, so here's a list to add to your daily challenges:
- Building colours, doors, windows.
- Nature: birds tweeting, trees tilting, leaves laying.
- Street lamps, cars, posters, road signs.
Finding new things to see is bound to bring you a more mindful eye and make you smile. Truly looking around with peeled eyes is a sound method to be a happier person. Just as making new changes in habits and antics bring a healthier, happier life to the surface, so do eyes like a baby. Notice the newness, appreciate and become aware of your presence. Newness allows you to tap into self-awareness. After all, it is the reason we crave to escape and go on holiday, isn't it? As humans, we get bored easily, especially in our day and age. It doesn't have to be that way: interact with what is in front of you before becoming bored.
Set a target to participate in your surroundings by finding something new four or five times a day until it becomes a habit; interacting with your environment will enable you to be more mindful. Remember, it's the little things that matter, which leads us on to the second daily challenge to become more mindful.
2. Smile at a stranger
Smiling is mindful magic. Not to mention, it is infectious. One smile can heal someone's soul in seconds and turn sadness into hope. A simple smile may make someone's day, especially a stranger who could be less fortunate than you; on the street or jobless. Think about it: people are too absorbed in their world to take the time to simply curve the mouth into a smirk. It will work!
It works on my daily commute on public transport in Berlin. People are grumpy and some faces seem to not have a glimmer of gladness, so I like to smile at people. Some people react with confusion, or ignorance, while others mirror the mindful magic.
It's okay because the ones that do reciprocate resonate with good intentions and give me hope.
When you acknowledge others and feel compassion, small acts of love will carry you through the day. Smiling at anyone will bring them and yourself joy and jolliness, so set a target to serve your heart. Start to smile and show respect as we come to our last challenge.
3. Say thank you to workers in service
Showing gratitude is a form of compassion and care. Not only does it let the other person know you care, but it boosts your mind. Essentially, internal motivation is based on our inner need to do things out of love, and good intentions, rather than for monetary reasons. That’s why volunteering and giving blood don’t concern money but work like magic on our soul. The same rule as noticing new things in the street and smiling at a stranger applies to noticing people who serve you by saying two sweet words like ‘thank you’.
Moving to Berlin made me miss how polite people are in the UK. As a nation, we are considered to exhibit good manners, and so we should! The number of times people don't interact with a server giving them their morning coffee by simply saying thanks or looking at them genuinely hurts my heart. In a time of technology addiction, mindful actions are more welcome. Being polite is somewhat second nature to me: two words could make someone's day in service or at least brighten it.
So the three daily challenges to become more mindful grow from showing compassion and curiosity. By engaging with energy to bring new light and love into your life, challenges can be fun and fresh, so feast your eyes on new things, as well as smile and show gratitude.
Grace Grossmann is a yoga instructor, English teacher and writer living in Berlin. She finds sense through writing and strength through God. Her mission is to spread peace through the power of words.
Find her on Instagram @gracegrossmannyoga/
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.