Once you really get the hang of mindfulness practice, you realize you can use it anywhere, even in ridiculous situations (such as the title of this blog post). You don’t have to stop what you’re doing in order to be mindful (but you do have to change what you’re thinking).
I think the shower is a great place to practice mindfulness. It is full of a lot of sensory input especially with touch and smell (unless if you use all unscented things). The awesome thing about a shower (or bath) is that your biggest organ (your skin) is getting a lot of attention! The nice warm water hitting your skin over and over again….. It’s pretty awesome.
New moms (and dads too) talk about how they can’t even shower in peace. And for me that is true. My little one stands by the shower screaming because I am not available to her. But with some singing and playing peek-a-boo with the shower curtain, showers can be tolerable.
I don’t want to be singing twinkle twinkle and playing peek-a-boo with the shower curtain, I want to go back to my peaceful, mindful showers….
My solution may sound silly to most people, but hey, I do what works. I’m all about efficiency.
The other day I experimented and decided to sing my mindful thoughts in the shower. I sang about the warm water hitting my skin, the white soap bubbles on my legs, the lovely smell of lavender shampoo…. And much much more. I basically just sang everything I was noticing about my experience and engaging the use of my senses.
Mindfulness doesn’t need to be a relaxing serene experience. It can involve singing what you’re noticing while your child is unhappy. It is in that moment that you are not thinking “this is the worst shower in the world” or “will you please stop crying, I’m right here!” You’re noticing what you’re experiencing, and simultaneously calming your child with you’re amazing vocal talents. The serenity comes from the absence of negative thoughts.
I hope this example illustrates that mindfulness can be used anywhere, all the time. I have clients that are the overly-busy sort and sometimes send messages like, “I don’t have time to do your skills but fix my anxiety anyway.” One of the most difficult things about anxiety treatment is taking the time to work on getting better. These “hacks” come in really handy if you feel you don’t have the time to use the skills. Parents especially complain of this so I thought this funny example would be helpful as often people might ask how to me mindful when there is a toddler around… or child or any other time demanding responsibility…
If you can’t make lifestyle changes yet, or if your circumstance doesn’t allow you to quietly sip tea outside and watch the leave rustling in the light wind, you can still be mindful, you can still stop the negative thoughts, and you can still experience peace of mind.
Give it a try… let me know how it works for you