Daily Opportunities to Be Mindful as a Non-Meditator

Finding moments of quiet without a meditation habit

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Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

Journaling

Just like I’m not a rah-rah person when it comes to mindfulness, I’m not the guy who pours out his heart on paper every morning. Instead, I read one page in Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic and then fill in the corresponding prompt in The Daily Stoic Journal. It takes me about five minutes and helps me ensure I’m chasing the right long-term goals.

Coffee

If you want to neutralize a smell, for example when sampling different perfumes in a store, bringing coffee beans close to your nose really helps. With the smell of a fresh roast in the morning it’s a different story, but inhaling that first swell of steam as the sun starts to peek through the window pulls me right into the moment.

Eating

Western food culture is often not as much about eating as it is about restocking calories. In Germany, eating at a restaurant can be a hectic experience, but in the US it’s even worse. Come fast, eat fast, go fast. You swallow the last bite, and the check is already on your table. Eating as a social event doesn’t do much to change that. You’re laughing, talking, trying to get in a sentence and, before you know it, you’ve chowed down your chow mein.

Gazing Out The Window

Whether it’s the bus, the train, the office, or a restaurant, I always try to get a window seat. It only takes one look up from your book, your work, or your phone, and you can observe the world in real-time.

Music

For many of us, music is the thing that’s always on. With remote, creative jobs on the rise, especially among young people, listening to music at work is normal. It may make us more productive, but it can also be a distraction, a way to numb our minds.

Listening

The funny thing about turning off the music is that you can still, well, listen. Your ears are not bound to consuming stuff that was tailor-made for them. They can pick up a great variety of sounds. Noises, patterns, conversations — all of which you can practice to just observe without interpreting them.

Reading

Every sentence is a story, and every story is told by a person. With every line you read, you get to judge that person and their story. But you’re also offered a chance to withhold that judgment just a little longer.

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