Stop whatever else you are doing right now.
Ask yourself, ‘what are three beautiful things I can see right now?’
Close your eyes and challenge yourself, ‘can I notice three distinct sounds without labeling them?’
Open your eyes and sniff around, ‘what are three different scents I can identify?’
Next, become curious about how your clothing feels on your skin and the pressure of your legs on the chair.
Did you complete this exercise?
You just practiced mindfulness using mindfulness questions.
- 1 What Is Mindfulness?
- 2 What Are Mindfulness Questions?
- 3 Examples of Mindfulness Questions and How to Use Them
- 4 FAQ
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the simple act of practicing present-moment awareness. Someone practicing mindfulness will notice their current thoughts and emotions without assigning any judgment or labels to them. Becoming aware and grounded in the present can radically change how you experience your life and the world around you.
When you learn to become more aware of your feelings in the present, then you can more readily identify your patterns and triggers. What brings you joy and lightness and relaxation? What brings you stress and anxiety and tension?
If you aren’t aware, then you can’t answer these questions. If you are aware, you can answer these questions, and use that information to shift your lifestyle. You can intentionally call in more joy, lightness, and relaxation while releasing stress, anxiety, and tension.
It sounds simple because it is!
But for some reason, most people experience a lot of resistance to practicing it. Our minds are always stuck in the past or the future. We avoid the present because we are in pain. We are in pain because our lives are not aligned with our soul’s desires. So, we escape to the past or future to avoid the pain of the present.
Mindfulness teaches you how to survive and thrive in the present. You can build healthy tools and skills that relieve the pain and make room for more light in your life.
Try these mindfulness practices to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily life.
By practicing mindful routines around specific times of day, you can invite more mindfulness into your life. Your routines do not have to be anything elaborate. In fact, they probably shouldn’t be, then you’ll be less likely to do them. Instead, pick quick simple actions that you can do to ground you in the present moment.
- committing to making your bed every morning before looking at your phone.
- expressing gratitude to the earth and farmers for your food before you eat.
- taking 5 minutes to breathe and stretch before you get into bed each night.
Focus On Breathing
You can also practice mindfulness any time throughout the day by focusing on your breath. Becoming aware of your breath always brings you back to the present. Be aware of your breath while you are brushing your teeth, driving, or doing dishes. These simple actions are a mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness Meditation and Journaling
Meditation and journaling are two wonderful daily habits to incorporate into your life. It can be overwhelming to decide how you want to try practicing mindfulness. There is an entire industry that will try to sell you gizmos and gadgets galore to help you live a more mindful life. Some of these tools can be beneficial. But mostly, you just need to keep it simple. Start with meditation and journaling, and let those practices be your guide on your journey.
Spiritual Community, Sanga
Creating a mindful community around yourself is so important if you want to develop a more mindful lifestyle. You can meet like-minded people at your local yoga studio and conscious community events like sacred sweats or ecstatic dance events.
Another way to practice mindfulness in your daily life is to ask yourself mindful questions to bring you back to the present. We will discuss what mindfulness questions are and how to use them for the rest of this article.
What Are Mindfulness Questions?
A mindfulness question is any question that you ask yourself which helps you become more grounded in the present, and aware of your thoughts and feelings. If you notice yourself becoming agitated or tense, a mindfulness question can help you identify the roots of these feelings. If you find your mind wandering into the future or lingering in the past, mindfulness questions can pull you back to the present. They are useful prompts for you to gain valuable information about how you are experiencing the here and now.
Benefits of Mindfulness Questions
- Facilitate deeper healing from trauma by grounding you in the present
- Improve self-awareness and knowledge of own experience
- Enhance your communication skills and relationships
- Broaden your perspective on shared reality
- Help you move beyond old mistakes
- Enhance empathy for others and awareness of others’ experiences
- Improve your mental, emotional, and physical health
Examples of Mindfulness Questions and How to Use Them
Check-In Questions to Ground You in the Present Moment
What sensations can I notice in my body?
Begin to tap into the innate intelligence of your body. You will learn much about how you exist and perceive the world. And, what you need to feel safe and healthy. The body stores invaluable information for you, if you start paying attention and tune in enough to listen.
Where can I soften or release tension?
Most people hold a lot of tension in their bodies without realizing it. People with mental health issues such as anxiety or trauma have much higher baseline rates of tension. Over time, this increased tension can prevent the immune system from working properly. Simple body scans throughout the day to release unnecessary tension can greatly improve overall health and well-being.
What emotions am I feeling right now? How do I know I am feeling them?
Taking a moment of stillness and silence to identify how you feel is an empowering practice for self-awareness and emotional-regulation. Your physiological sensations can help you identify your emotions. Identifying your emotions helps you gain more control over your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Why might I be feeling this way?
Although finding the root cause of a feeling isn’t always important, it can certainly be informative. Consider if the reason is something you can control. If it isn’t, then you must work towards letting it go. If it is, then you can try changing the situation, or removing yourself from the situation. According to Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now, those are always the only three options in any situation: accept it, change what you can, or remove yourself from it.
What thoughts am I allowing to be present with me right now?
Remember, you are in control of your thoughts. Your thoughts do not control you, although it can feel that way at times. By practicing the exercises above, you can become aware of how your physiological experience and your emotions affect your thoughts. Stop allowing negative thoughts to ruminate and circulate in your mind.
What am I prioritizing right now?
Whatever you prioritize will be reflected in your quality of life. Are you prioritizing restoration, nourishment, and love? Then your life will be full of vibrancy and warmth! Are you prioritizing instant gratification and fleeting satisfaction? Then your life will be blotched with the suffering of desire.
Why am I doing whatever I am doing right now?
Is it because it fills your heart with joy and spreads your special and unique gifts into the world? Or is it because you feel like you “should” or you “have to”? Everyone has unfavorable, obligatory responsibilities. But are your structuring your life atop a foundation that feeds your soul, or simply adheres to society’s standards?
Mindfulness Questions As Journaling Prompts
What are my intentions for today?
Set intentions at the beginning of your day to guide your decisions for the rest of the day. You will more easily achieve your goals for the day by first identifying them! What direction do you want your day to go? What is the ideal tone for the day? What are your priorities for today? Whether it is taking a day of rest, or completing a large project. Combatting decision fatigue saves mental energy for higher-order tasks and thinking.
What am I grateful for?
Listing three things you are grateful for, and why, is a powerful gratitude practice that many yogis are committed to. By writing them down, you are taking the time and space to sit with the feelings of gratitude for the specific parts of your life that you love and appreciate. Writing out the reasons why deepens the mindfulness practice and improves mental health.
What am I doing to take care of myself?
You cannot pour from an empty cup! Writing down what you are doing to take care of yourself is a shocking exercise for a lot of people. They realize they’re not doing much, but the bare minimum, if that. Just like you must secure your own oxygen mask on a plane before helping a child, you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others. It is not selfish, it is filling your own cup so that you have something to pour from. If your mental health is suffering, you will not have the energy to support your loved ones.
How am I being kind to others?
Now that your cup is full, are you spreading the love and warmth? How are you intentionally and authentically showing up for others? We live in difficult and tumultuous times. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. Yes, we need to show up fully for our tribe. But you can also show small kindnesses to strangers every day in meaningful ways. If you need to do some personal growth in this area, use this mindfulness journal prompt to reflect and brainstorm.
When do I feel most like myself? What lights me up inside?
This journal prompt is enlightening. It can inform how you truly want to spend your free time and who you want to spend it with. What does your best life look like? When you answer this question truthfully, does it reflect your reality? If not, what can you change? Perhaps it can even steer you in the direction of a fulfilling way to make money to support yourself.
What do I find hardest to accept about myself?
The answer to this question can build awareness in two distinct ways. First, you can learn about the ways you may be limiting yourself. For example, if you can’t accept your body the way it is- you are probably limiting yourself in the food you enjoy, the activities you think you’re capable of, and the clothes you wear.
Second, it can shed light on shadow work you need to do. Everyone has dark sides of them, but the more they are repressed, the tighter grip they have on our psyche. Shadow work is mindful reflection that can be done with a Jungian psychologist.
What do I believe I deserve? Why do I believe that?
You probably deserve a lot better than you think you do. Maybe you had an awful partner in high school that set the tone for what you think you deserve. Or maybe you had neglectful or even abusive parents. Those early attachments form long-lasting internalized beliefs about the type of love and relationship we think we are capable of and deserve. Taking a moment to reflect and process that is important to unlocking the real potential you have for meaningful and safe relationships.
What thoughts dominated my mind today?
If you don’t have time to reflect and write out a long journal entry, here is a quick one for you. Jotting down a few thoughts that were on a loop in your brain has a few benefits. First, it simply gets the thought out of your head and onto the paper (picture Dumbledore pulling memories out of his temple and placing them in the Pensieve). Second, when you flip through your journal to read past entries, these ones will provide insight into what you were preoccupied with during that time, and how far you have come from then.
Mindfulness Questions to Benefit Your Meditation Practice
What helps me focus?
Is it sitting up straight with your eyes closed, or walking through a park, or laying on your bed staring at projected galaxy lights on the ceiling? Set yourself up for success with your meditation by getting curious about how you focus best.
How would I describe my happy place?
Visualizations are a popular mindfulness meditation technique to help you relax. Where is your happy place? Close your eyes and take your time calling in this vision. What sounds surround you, how does it smell, how does the air feel on your skin?
How can I intentionally release tension in my body?
Performing a progressive muscle relaxation technique can be beneficial. Try this out and get curious about other ways your unique body enjoys releasing tension. You could try a restorative yoga class, or simply lay in your bed with your legs up the wall. Aromatherapy and deep breathing are other popular ways to release tension and promote relaxation in the body.
What thoughts and emotions surface the most when I am meditating?
After a meditation session, it is important to reflect on what came up for you while you were trying to focus and clear your mind. These thoughts and emotions have a lot of information to offer you. They can tell you what you are feeling upset or excited about. Or what is blocking you from going deeper within yourself. Or, maybe your inner voice is trying to send you a message.
How do I discern my inner voice?
“Listen to the message
that leads to love
that permeates the universe.”
– Rachel Harris, Ph.D.
When trying to discern your inner voice from the cacophony of other noises surrounding you, try taking this advice from Rachel Harris. She is a psychologist and lead researcher in psychedelics and plant medicines. Also ask yourself, where is the voice coming from? Does it have an agenda?
What are the five basics of practicing mindfulness?
Awareness of body
What are three practices used in mindfulness?
Pay attention, live in the moment, and accept yourself.