Awareness is a term people toss around a lot these days, but what does it really mean? Does it mean turning your world upside down and living your life in a completely new way? Not at all! It simply involves paying more attention to things just as they are. The only thing you need to change a bit to begin practicing awareness is your focus.
Awareness involves being present in the moment — not thinking about the past and not worrying about the future, just experiencing the right now. One of the best ways to remain aware is living through the five senses. Pay attention to things you smell, hear and taste. Bring awareness to the textures you touch and everything you see happening around you. And tap into those senses throughout your day.
Beginning Your Day
Before you get out of bed and launch yourself into the hustle and bustle of your morning, pause. Take five minutes for yourself and simply be. Focus on your inhales and exhales and relax. When you’re done, stretch and with a grateful heart, start your day. This is a wonderful awareness practice to start your day.
As You Get Ready
Instead of rushing through your shower and daily routine, really experience the sensations. Notice the warmth of the water on your skin. Be aware of the motions and sounds as you brush your teeth. As you drive to work, don’t get lost in thought and not remember your drive at all. Pay attention to the colors of the buildings, the sounds of the traffic around you and the formations of the clouds. See if you notice a difference in how you’re feeling by the time you get to work.
When You Take Your Lunch Break
When you have the time, work a five- to 10-minute walk into your lunch break. But don’t rush past the people and the sights, be focused instead. Walk with intention at a slightly slower pace. What do you see? What do you hear? Notice how it feels to really be present in the moment. Do you feel more relaxed? More alive?
In the Afternoon
No need to schedule a big break time, but after hours of sitting in meetings or staring at a computer screen, you deserve a moment to recharge. Take five minutes (or even less) to pause and do nothing but listen. Listen to the sounds around you. Listen to the sounds of your breath. Soak in a few minutes of peace before moving on to the next task.
As you sit down to your dinner, do so with awareness. Look at the presentation of the food on your plate. Breathe in the aromatic smells of your freshly prepared meal. Look at those around you and really soak in some gratitude for what you see. Eat slowly and savor each bite, and you’ve just added awareness to mealtime!
As You Turn in for the Night
Go through your evening routine like you did in the morning, noticing the steps for washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc. Tune in to the quiet that has settled within your home and the natural rhythm of a day wrapping up. Take a couple of minutes to focus on your breath. Then, with a few thoughts of what you are grateful for that day, climb into bed knowing you fully experienced your day.
For more ideas for weaving awareness into your life, contact me! Bringing your attention to the present is life changing in so many ways, and I’d love to help you experience it.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and board certified Focused Awareness Meditation Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.