Easy Moments of Mindfulness to Add to Your Daily Routine

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Easy Moments of Mindfulness to Add to Your Daily Routine

Most people who sustain an enriching sobriety journey rely on a daily recovery practice that includes meaningful routines and rituals. One common factor in this approach focuses on practices that cultivate more peace in life. To do this, some individuals pray, others might  meditate, and still others create deliberate moments of mindfulness each day. Have you ever tried mindfulness? Here are some ways to add it to your recovery practice.  

Mindfulness as a Purposeful Pause  

Janice Marturano is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership. In this article for the magazine Mindful, she explains why a purposeful pause helps us. 

“Taking time to notice the present moment and redirect your mind back to the present when it wanders trains your brain to recognize when you’ve defaulted to acting on autopilot. As you engage in this mind training on a daily basis, you will begin to notice how often you are not being present for your life,” Martuarano says. “And in that noticing lies the seeds for choosing to do something different.”

To enjoy a purposeful pause, do any of the following for five minutes: 

  • Embrace nature. Whether you look out the window or step outside, take a moment to allow this shift in perspective.
  • Breathe. Close your eyes if possible, and bring your attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. This helps anchor you in the present moment and calm your mind.
  • Rest between activities. Before transitioning from one task to another, take a moment to center yourself. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let go of any tension or stress from the previous activity before moving on to the next.
  • Do a body scan. Close your eyes and systematically focus your attention on each part of your body, from head to toe, noticing any sensations without judgment.

Mindfulness as an Activity 

The American Psychological Association states that “to be consistent with most of the research reviewed in this article, we define mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait.” Researchers suggest engaging in some form of mindfulness meditation to help reduce rumination, increase working memory, reduce stress, and lessen emotional reactivity. 

You can also try other mindful activities, such as: 

  • Awaken with purpose. Begin your day with a moment of mindfulness before getting out of bed. Take a few deep breaths, stretch your body, and set a positive intention for the day ahead.
  • Take a meditative walk. Pay attention to the sensations of each step you take—the feeling of your feet against the ground, the movement of your muscles, and the sounds around you.
  • Color or draw for a few minutes. Release thought and simply enjoy a relaxing moment that also allows you to refocus. 
  • Embrace the awareness of one simple task. Venerable monk Thich Nhat Hahn once said, “If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully, if I want to finish them quickly so I can go and have dessert or a cup of tea, I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert or my tea when I finally have them.” This is to say that you’ll find more calm in the singular moment of completing a task rather than pondering the past or worrying about the future. 
  • Try a grounding exercise. The 5-4-3-2-1 technique allows you to connect with what’s around you. Direct your attention to the following, take a deliberate breath or pause between each:
    • Five things you see
    • Four things you hear
    • Three things you smell
    • Two things you touch
    • One thing you taste
  • Reflect before bed. End your day with a moment of reflection and gratitude. Take a few minutes to review the events of the day, acknowledging any challenges or successes with compassion and acceptance.

Mindfulness Exercises in Daily Life  

Other easy mindfulness exercises can show up in other ways, too. For example, practice savoring each bite of your meals. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and smells of your food, and chew slowly. Eating mindfully not only enhances your enjoyment of food but also helps you to tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues. 

Also, be more present as an active and reflective listener. When engaging in conversations with others, give the speaker your full attention without interrupting or thinking about your response. Focus on truly understanding what the other person is saying.

Another helpful tip is to unplug more often. Dedicate periods of time each day to disconnect from technology and screens. Use this time to engage in activities that nourish your mind and body, such as reading, spending time in nature, or practicing a hobby.

If you’d like more ideas for incorporating moments of mindfulness in your daily life, try these suggestions from the therapy site BetterUp

Find More Mindfulness Tools for Better Health at Seabrook

Seabrook has four award-winning addiction treatment centers in New Jersey that feature both evidence-based therapies and holistic methods to help enrich your life and learn additional techniques that enhance your well-being. If this is the comprehensive care you’ve searched for but have yet to find, talk to a member of our admissions team today. We can help.