How can I integrate mindfulness into my everyday life?

10. December 2021

I have been a self-employed mindfulness trainer for several months and enjoy the freedom and responsibility that comes with it. Interestingly, more than ever, it is highly relevant for me not only to teach the tools but also to apply them in my own life. Mindfulness currently helps me to:

a) be creative
b) Not to be driven by the fear of failure
c) stay healthy.


Let me share the five methods that I personally use most in my everyday life and thus train mindfulness in doing:


  1. Focused work

When you’re working on a presentation, try to get 100% of your attention on what you are doing. Do the opposite of multi-tasking.

One tip is to switch off notifications, for example in Outlook, when new e-mails arrive or on your phone. Try to minimize distractions and then concentrate fully on your task.

What helps me is plugging in my headphones, playing nature sounds or classical music, and setting a timer for 25-30 minutes. If you are in an open-plan office, this is also helpful because your colleagues might think that you are on the phone and you don’t want to be disturbed. After the set time you get up, take a short break and start the next session.


  1. Mindful listening

When listening to another person, think of your attention as a gift. Give this gift to the other person when they tell you something. You can also envision a spotlight shining on the other person which is buying them airtime. Concentrate fully on listening during the conversation, only speaking to ask questions. You are of course welcome to confirm your interest to the other person, for example by nodding encouragingly. When the other person has finished their sentence, give them some peace, they may want to express more. With this “mindful listening” technique, you move from “waiting to tell” to “listening to understand”.


  1. Sharpen perception

When you’re feeling really stressed out and don’t have time to take a break, do this tiny exercise: focus all your senses on what is happening. Look around the room and see what your eyes can see. Consciously listen to all the loud and quiet noises around you. Feel your hands touch the laptop or chair. Perceive smells around you. Do this with a childlike attitude, as if you are seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling everything for the first time in your life. This will help your mind slow down.


  1. “Love it, leave it or change it”.

Think about your daily life and write down everything that you think “costs” you energy. This could be a noisy work environment, a long commute, a critical project or something like back pain. Write down at least 10 things.

Then ask yourself about each of these: “In theory, do I have the power to do something about it?” Circle the points where you know (even if it might not feel good) that you could actually change something, talk to someone, or say no. For example, this could be a health problem that you are delaying seeing the doctor for or finally cleaning up your email inbox.

Define an action for one of these circled objects that you want to carry out within a week.


  1. Implement a healthy morning routine

The good news is that just 5-10 minutes in the morning can make a difference. In my opinion, morning sets the tone for the day. If you spend the first few minutes of the day in a positive and healthy manner, your day will reflect similar experiences. I know this is more difficult to do than the other points, but I invite you to start your day with a quick meditation. This can vary from sitting in bed after waking up and just taking three conscious breaths to doing a brief meditation.