Ask Andy - A Question from our Headspace Community
How do I stay mindful throughout the day?
I'm finding it difficult to stay mindful in the day. I am now on the Creativity series and have forgotten a lot of what went on in the Discovery series and how to be mindful. I don't seem to be increasing the amount of time I am mindful in the day and some days I forget to be mindful for most of the time. On other days when I try to make a real effort I end up with a headache by the end of the day! How can I get ahead with being mindful?
Yeah, becoming more mindful throughout the day is perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of training the mind.
That's partly because the day is just so long and undefined, but also because we are not used to the habit. This is in contrast to our meditation practice which may well be a daily ritual and which is defined by a certain time and location.
So, the first thing we need to do is to break the day up into chunks. Forget about trying to be mindful the entire day - it's impossible at first. Choose one thing, and just one thing you do everyday and make that your time to be mindful. It can be brushing your teeth, walking to and from work, dressing and undressing, drinking a cup of tea... anything which is fairly routine and preferably not involving another person.
Commit to this one activity, every day, every time you do it, for one week. When you've done it and feel confident that it is part of your new routine, you can then add a second activity. Never take on more than one new activity a week.
This may sounds like small steps, but it can quickly make a considerable impact and, over the course of a year, genuinely transform the way you feel throughout the day.
Oh, and don't forget that it is quite ok to go back and re-visit the Discovery Series if you want a reminder of some of the key points.