When is the last time you recalled what it felt like to brush your teeth? Did you pay attention to what was happening? Brushing your teeth is an action that we do (or should do) every day, yet it has become so habitual that we don’t remember what it feels like or what we are paying attention to while we do it.
This isn’t a bad thing, but actually a great opportunity.
Because it’s something we do every day, we have the chance each day to practice mindfulness in one of the simplest and least intimidating ways possible.
So often we hear buzzwords like mindfulness and meditation yet are often intimidated by them or are unsure how to bring these practices into our own lives. We might think it takes many hours of practice or having to sit in a quiet space for long periods of time with no distractions, but in reality all we need to do is pay attention.
The next time you are brushing your teeth, pay attention to what you are doing. Instead of thinking about what you are going to be doing next in your day, just bring yourself back to where you are right in those moments.
What do the bristles feel like on your gums and teeth? What do you taste and smell? Are you looking at yourself in the mirror? Are you present?
In these moments we give ourselves a break from the constant thoughts, and potential stresses, of our days. This is a powerful way to recharge, clear our minds, and go about our days more present and aware of what we are doing.
Mindfulness is one of those things that as you continue to practice it, it becomes more and more a part of your overall state of being. So instead of having to go back to being mindful all the time, it will become more of a norm in your day to day life.
1. Pay attention to what you are feeling while you brush your teeth. Use all your senses.
2. If you find your mind drifting back to thoughts or worries of the day, accept it and gently bring yourself back to the moment. Don’t judge the fact that you mind drifted, it’s OK, it happens to us all. The key here is to get glimpses of mindfulness that increase over time.
3. Practice doing this during other daily actions as well.
Benefits of Mindfulness & Meditation
Besides being more present and aware of what is happening around you in your life, being more mindful and present reduces stress as well. Along with this it can improve your mental clarity and your relationships, and lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
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