Mindful Mondays: How to cultivate mindful habits

Written by Trisha Bhullar

Mindful habits are a challenge to cultivate, let alone any habit at all! It takes hours of time and commitment to establish mindful habits, but the pay-off is priceless. Here’s your guide on how to stick to mindful habits. 

 

What are mindful habits and why do they matter? 

Mindful habits refer to habits cultivated with the aim of bringing you closer to mindfulness. It can be as simple as consciously acknowledging your surroundings while executing a mundane task, or as committed as sticking to a regular meditation schedule. Why do these habits matter in your pursuit of mindfulness? This is simply because mindfulness is a lifestyle rather than an action – and lifestyles involve habits. Establishing a mindful goal and creating a routine out of it will significantly increase the probability of your mindful lifestyle being a sustainable one. 

 

How can I create mindful habits? 

#1 Integrate mindful habits into your existing routines 

It’s easier to merge two routines instead of having two separate ones. As a result, you should try to build on existing routines with mindful habits. Let’s say you’d like to practice mindfulness in its most basic form, through focusing on the present and observing your surroundings. You can integrate this into your morning routine while brushing your teeth or commuting to work. It might seem insignificantly small, but the best way to build habits is starting small and establishing a strong foundation for more complex routines. 

 

#2 Start a meditation journal

Meditation journals are perfect for individuals trying to stick to the mindfulness habit of meditation. The benefits of meditation are countless, with advocates across multiple industries vouching for its effectiveness. Here’s a great article on how to create a meditation journal, with step-by-step guides and useful suggestions. 

 

#3 Set daily reminders

Habits are cultivated by repeating an action. Of course, our bustling lives pose a huge challenge. Unforeseen work calls, oversleeping because of late nights or social media distractions can prevent you from doing the same, small thing every morning. Set an automatic reminder for first thing in the morning, reminding yourself to do a short mindfulness exercise. iPhones even have a recurring alarm feature, so all you have to do is set this once! 

 

#4 Work as a team

Humans are an innately social, yet competitive species. We should, therefore, use both these qualities when trying to change our lifestyles. Appeal to your social side by including friends and family in your challenge to practice mindfulness habits. At the same time, inject it with some competitiveness to outperform each other. Fun competition acts as a good source of extrinsic motivation to complement your internal desire to practice mindfulness. 

 

Keep on keeping on! 

Habits are tricky things to form but once you form a good habit, it sticks with you forever. Mindfulness could just be the key to enhancing your life, so why not give it a shot?