Needless to say, life can be chaotic and hectic. So, how do we find calm amid such chaos? And, how can we find that calm quickly? We’re always looking for fast and easy ways to make our lives better. Life doesn’t come with many quick fixes. But, a quick-reference mindfulness guide is a life hack you’ll want to keep handy. Especially if accessing a calm, peaceful mindset more easily interests you. Here is a short and sweet reminder of some of the mindful methods that are available to you any time, any day.
12 Mindful Methods for Staying Calm Amid Chaos
There are several great meditation apps out there (i.e., Insight Timer). Even if you only have a few minutes, you can select a short meditation that works for you. Pick a time and a meditation that fit into your schedule.
The simple practice of mindfully grounding yourself in your body is incredibly calming and comforting. You can do this by putting your attention on the soles of your feet and focusing your energy downward (either while sitting or walking). Keep your attention there and breathe slowly and deeply.
Another way to get grounded is to use a “here-and-now stone.” This can be any stone that captures your interest. Find one on a walk in the woods, on the beach, by a river, or even at a local craft store. Your stone need not be anything fancy; it just needs to be one that feels good to you when you hold it. Carry it in a pocket or purse (or even wear it around your neck if it lends itself to that). Reach for it anytime during the day that you need to calm or soothe yourself.
3. Be mindful while brushing your teeth
Weaving mindfulness into everyday activities you are already doing is a great way to make time for it. Brush your teeth mindfully by tuning your full attention into each step (i.e., putting on the paste, brushing, rinsing) and each sensation (i.e., tastes, smells, and textures; the feeling of the brush).
Here’s another daily activity where you can easily incorporate mindfulness. Be the observer and pay mindful attention to the way you prepare, serve, and eat your food. Slice and dice mindfully; put your fork to your mouth mindfully; taste and chew mindfully; and so on.
5. Try mindful walking
Moving with mindfulness is a great way to work on a healthy mind and healthy body at the same time. Pick your favorite spot to walk and pay attention to the soles of your feet as they meet the ground. Listen to the rhythm of your steps. Feel your breath as it goes in and out of your nose. Notice the sights, smells, and sounds around you. Feel of the air on your face. And so on.
6. Practice taking in the good
Whenever you have a great feeling, take it in for a few breaths and relish it. Do this often and you will begin to experience the beauty of rewiring your brain for happiness.
7. Let music help you be in the moment
Make a playlist of songs that fill you with good feelings, then refer to number 6 above!
8. Practice the Receiving-Sending Meditation
Use this in moments of strife in your own life, to support those around you (whether people you know or strangers). Or, do it just for the heck of it to fill the world with some extra goodness! Breathe in the pain, breathe out goodwill. Breathe in the chaos, breathe out calm and peace.
9. Call yourself “sweetheart”
Or pick another term of endearment that works for you! Choose something just silly and sweet enough to soften and comfort you when things feel rough.
10. Practice Loving Kindness Meditation
Here are a few phrases to experiment with: “May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” You can also try replacing “I” with “you,” or with “all beings.”
11. Make a joy list
Write down a list of things that bring you joy, then do one or two of those activities daily.
12. Start a gratitude practice
Write down a few things you are grateful for or a few things you enjoyed each day. Write a gratitude letter to someone. Let the feeling of gratitude fill you up.
So, go ahead and give these tips a try. Identify two or three favorites and then incorporate them into your daily life. The more you practice mindfulness, the more easily you will be able to tap into it when things get tough.
May you live your life with ease. May you be safe and free from suffering.
Feature photo: Grant Ritchie / Unsplash
About: Mindfulness expert and author Julie Potiker is an attorney who began her serious study and investigation of mindfulness after graduating from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of California, San Diego. She went on to become trained to teach Mindful Self-Compassion, and completed the Positive Neuroplasticity Training Professional Course with Rick Hanson. Now, she shares these and other mindfulness techniques with the world through her Mindful Methods for Life trainings and her new book: “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos.” For more information, visit www.MindfulMethodsForLife.com.