Living a mindful life – this guiding idea has long since made the leap from esoteric studios into everyday life. But what does it actually mean to live a mindful life, why is it even healthy, and how do you put it into practice? Every trend needs its counter-trend. In the case of digitalization, this is mindfulness: yoga replaces continuous action, a book in the evening replaces “hanging out” on social media, companies hire “mindfulness officers” as an early warning system for burnout, and people no longer play Candy Crush on the subway but practice “conscious breathing” with the help of an app. Whether young or old, long-term hippie or top manager – the will to live a mindful life has permeated almost all spheres of society.
Mindful living describes the mindshift to a more conscious existence, contrary to the prevailing fast pace on autopilot brought by the age of acceleration in the form of social networks, multitasking and self-optimization. Mindful living stands for the focus on the HERE and NOW and for more me-time. A conscious perception and observation of one’s surroundings, one’s own body and one’s own feelings is intended to catapult the mind back into the present and thus bring greater appreciation back to individual moments in everyday life – whether walking, eating or working. This sometimes has positive effects on well-being: jittery people find it easier to find inner peace, stressed people are relieved of the feeling of constant pressure, and overwhelmed people are helped not to lose themselves completely. It increases concentration, reduces stress and provides emotional balance. Studies also prove that mindful living prevents high blood pressure, alleviates depression, relieves anxiety, and reduces gastrointestinal distress. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But how do you put this into practice? For a mindful life, too, practice makes perfect! Suddenly reducing the pace of life from 100 to 0, hastily booking a yoga trip to India or putting several hours of meditation on your schedule every day – this is not effective in the long term. Because first and foremost, mindful living involves giving yourself time and practicing patience – after all, the point is to ABATE stress, not build it up.
As inspiration, we reveal our favorite practices for a mindful life, which can be easily and gradually integrated into everyday life and with which you can – depending on your wishes and feelings – increase bit by bit.
Mayer, Heike (2015). Living mindfully: The small 1 x 1 for a life in the here and now
Williams, Mark (2015). The Mindfulness Training: 20 minutes a day that will change your life
Bays, Jan Chozen (2012). Mindful through the day – 53 feather-light exercises to train mindfulness