We’re all a little busy these days, but when being too busy gets in the way of our spirituality and wellness, it’s time to take a moment and stop what we’re doing. Mindfulness brings you to the present, helping you to focus on what’s here and now rather than whats’ been or will be. Even busy people can practice mindfulness, but you might need a little extra help to get there.
Here, we’ll cover five mindfulness practices that even the busiest professionals, parents, or CEOs can master. Wherever you are in your day or your life, adopting mindfulness as a daily ritual will help increase your overall wellbeing. So, what are you waiting for? Read on!
1. Eat Well
Mindfulness is about more than just focusing on the mind. You need to focus on your body, too. By eating mindfully, you’re thinking more about what goes into your body. This is something we should all be doing on a daily basis. Poor diet is a leading cause of heart disease in the US, and poor-quality foods are so easy to obtain and often taste “better”. In reality, they just offer more salt, sugar, and carbs—which make you feel good.
Eating mindfully  means taking a step back and looking at the food you’re buying. Did you include green leafy vegetables? Fresh fruits? Are your ingredients fresh, or are you buying processed foods? Remember that processed foods are often loaded with salt, sugar, and preservatives. Processed meat is loaded with extra salt and other unhealthy additives, and sold frozen.
The bottom line is that your overall wellness starts with the quality of the food that goes into your body. Next time you reach for a snack, think about what you’re reaching for. Is it the best choice?
2. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
You should always be mindful of how much sleep you’re getting, and whether or not it’s high-quality sleep. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation, whether because of stress or anxiety or simply because they don’t stick to a schedule. Sleeping is one of the many facets of a healthy lifestyle. Combined with diet and exercise, a good night’s sleep can leave you feeling energized and motivated to take on the day and handle your stress appropriately.
Be mindful about your bedtime routine. Do you read or scroll on your phone? Do you have a bedtime? A wake-up time? Do you practice good sleep habits on the weekends, too? Does your old mattress need to be retired?
3. Stop And Breathe
One of the most important things you can do throughout the day to remain mindful is to stop and breathe. Take a break. Take a moment just for yourself to breathe, think, and relax. Modern life is hectic and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a roller coaster of emotion. Stopping for a moment to focus on your breathing can help ground you and calm those nerves.
Focusing on breathing can actually lower your heart rate and return your body to normal function. When you’re flying high from stress or just nervous about the future, breathing brings you back to what matters—the here and now. Best of all, it’s easy, free, and you can do it anywhere. There are no special practices or requirements, you just breathe.
4. Pray Or Meditate
Prayer and meditation are both great tools for remaining mindful of your place in the universe and in our world. Prayer and meditation can humble you, bring you to the present, and even relieve all of the day’s stress. Even busy people have time for a quick prayer with their daily prayer app or a meditation session before/after work.
If you have to wake up earlier or go to bed earlier to achieve either of these, it’s recommended that you do so. Prayer has been shown to relieve stress and make people feel more calm throughout the day, and meditation has been practiced for millennia as a calming technique that helps ground you to the present.
Prayers don’t have to be anything special, and meditation can be whatever you want. Just make sure that you’re somewhere quiet, or that you have soft, claming music on in the background. The environment does help or hinder, depending on how you set it up.
5. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the most rewarding emotions you can feel, and practicing daily gratitude can transform your life. You’ll feel more connected to the things that matter to you, and more grounded to what’s going on now. People practice gratitude in all sorts of ways, but perhaps the simplest way is to say thank you for all of the things you hold dear.
You’re not speaking to anyone in particular, of course—unless you’d like to thank God for all of your blessings. What’s important is that you remember how lucky you are to have people who love you, a roof over your head, and the opportunities you’ve been given.
This article was submitted by a guest blogger. You can read about the author in the post above. If you would like to submit an article, please write for us (sponsored guest posts).
Paul Harrison, Editor, THE DAILY MEDITATION.