Do you remember how the coffee tasted this morning? No? You're not alone in that. Especially in the morning, many people tend to still be thinking about the weekend or the upcoming tasks of the day. Often, you're also thinking about the next activity that's coming up: When getting up, one thinks about the coffee, when drinking coffee about the drive to work and during the drive one paints in detail the upcoming customer appointment. The cell phone is also a source of distraction and offers endless stimuli and impulses from the first minute of the day. As a result, many people are no longer consciously in the moment and do not perceive with all their senses the activity they are currently engaged in. One possible antidote is mindfulness. 

The carousel of thoughts constantly revolves around anything but the present moment. This multitasking stresses the brain enormously and ensures that many spend the day in autopilot mode. This is where mindfulness can step in and press pause. Science calls this technique "Mindfulness based stress reduction" and is researching how stress and tension can be reduced through it. 

 

The goal is to be in the present moment with the mind and to focus on the activity that one is currently engaged in. Another important aspect is to perceive the situation without judgment. Attention is not focused on thoughts about yesterday, today or tomorrow, but is focused and ensures higher productivity and quality of life. Thereby you come to more inner peace. With this conscious decision to be present, besides balance, personality development and memory are improved. When you embrace the value of mindfulness in your life, you simultaneously promote stress resilience, solution-oriented thinking, concentration, and better mental health. 

Mindfulness affects every area of life and is independent of place and time. Every action can be performed consciously: Breathing consciously, eating consciously, walking consciously, communicating consciously. Especially the latter makes it a good that can promote social coexistence. Through mindful communication, conflicts can be avoided, more empathy can be built and interpersonal relationships can be strengthened. If everyone applies this to themselves personally, they will be able to interact better with their fellow human beings. 

 

Mindfulness is a value, a state, a personality trait, or even a way of life. It can be integrated into everyday life through concrete exercises or used as a technique to perform activities more consciously. The first step in doing so is to realize how little one actually notices the present moment. In addition, a well-known method is to pay attention to all the senses and to listen, see, smell, taste and feel in detail everything that is present. In this regard, practice makes perfect. You can learn the healthy attitude and get out of the habit of autopilot. 

If you now feel addressed and want to answer the question about your morning coffee calmly next time, you can be inspired by this mindful daily routine. The point is not to implement every point exactly the same way, but to incorporate small moments of mindfulness as it suits you. 

6:42 am The alarm clock rings

Start the day after waking up with a few conscious breaths. When emotions arise in you, try to accept them without judgment and not to repress them. This avoids inner pressure and emotional baggage. Next, it helps to stretch and actively feel the individual parts of your body. If you have time and the necessary motivation, sports can also help you get a mindful start to the day. 

7:23 am The coffee is calling

Next up is the most important meal of the day. Especially when it comes to breakfast, many people tend to eat it while doing something else or in a hectic rush on the go. With mindful breakfast, however, it is important to take time to eat and to consciously eat only at this moment. Notice the taste intensely and try not to let your mind wander to the stressful day. Take time to be in the here and now and, at best, do without your cell phone. 

Work-life balance during the day

 The way to work or to the university offers you the possibility to stay with your attention completely with your environment. Simply turn off the radio and allow yourself to rest before the workday. Plan enough time to avoid time pressure and stress. 

Once you arrive at work, rituals help you create a mindful routine and avoid getting caught up in the hustle and bustle. Take three minutes to consciously arrive, grab a coffee or say hello to your favorite colleagues. For those who struggle with this, you can at least tidy up your workspace to focus on priorities. During your lunch break, take a short walk to breathe deeply and relax your body. Back at your desk, multitasking should be avoided and focus on one task at a time. When you notice that your breathing becomes shallow again and the carousel of thoughts is spinning, this is your signal to come back to mindfulness. You can also use this to your advantage when communicating with colleagues. Try to actively listen to your counterpart and not just wait for an opportunity to respond. When the day is done, consciously call it a day and turn off all devices for a moment. 

10:07 pm The evening is yours

 Before going to bed, your body and mind should be at rest. Reflect on your day and then let your thoughts rest. You can make yourself aware of things that went well or for which you are grateful and also write them down. The latter is called journaling and helps to relieve stress in a creative way. At least one hour before you go to sleep, you should turn to a book instead of a series or your cell phone. The time before sleeping should function as me-time and be filled with, for example, a warm shower, relaxing music, a cup of tea. This is how a mindful day comes to a peaceful end. 

These mindfulness tips will lead to a calmer way of life in a short period of time and help you to have a more optimistic outlook. 

Authors: Zoe Pelczer, Felizia Probst