How many of you are like me - (doing one thing but thinking about what I need to do next and a dozen other things that have to be done)? I find this particularly true when doing chores such as cleaning house, I'm vacuuming, dusting or cleaning the sink, but my mind is racing ahead to what happens next. What would happen if we could change the mundane chores of life into something more meaningful?
Ronald Alexander, PhD, is a clinical psychotherapist in Santa Monica, California. The executive director of the OpenMind Training Institute he is also the author of WISE MIND, OPEN MIND: FINDING PURPOSE AND MEANING IN TIMES OF CRISIS, LOSS AND CHANGE. He is also an expert on the idea of mindfulness. He suggests that perhaps we find a different approach to those everyday tasks like brushing our teeth and cleaning the house. Instead of rushing through chores while distracting ourselves with other things, what if we slowed down and actually engulfed ourselves in the sensory experience of the activity? By being more mindful in our daily activities, we can enrich our lives, relax and reduce stress.
Experiencing mindfulness, begins by a different state of focus. Instead of mentally focusing on "what's next", be in the moment. Use your senses to focus on what you are doing. Feel the weight of the dish you are washing and the warmth of the water. Smell the dishwashing soap. Really take time to notice the taste of the toothpaste. Look at what you are doing as if you had never done it before. Allow your curiosity to be engaged. What would the carpet look like if I vacuumed in a different way? How would it feel to use a different hairbrush? As you heighten your senses with focus and concentration on what you are doing, you are no longer overwhelming your mind with mental work beyond the physical activity you are in. You are just being - a tooth brusher, a house cleaner. In that state of being you are opening yourself to intuition and creativity.
Try this with your next mundane chore. Just be in the moment and become more mindful to reduce stress and enrich your life.