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5 reasons to ‘micro-dose' mindfulness. Why this is important to incorporate within your mindful wellbeing practice

“It is the little things in life.” That’s what you hear all the time – focus on this little things for they are the aspects that add up to make one big thing. Today’s article brings you 5 good reasons for why it is necessary to implement little moments of mindfulness in your daily life to help build a strong mindfulness routine.

 



But what exactly do we mean by 'micro-dose mindfulness'? Or 'micro mindfulnes' for short?

 

‘Micro mindfulness' is a term we use to describe little habits or routines that are quick, simple and generally form part of our larger mindfulness and/or wellness practice. The opposite of this is what we term ‘macro mindfulness’, where you spend a majority of the day practicing mindfulness and focusing on your wellbeing (think retreats and so on).

 

Other terms to go by are 'mindful moments', 'micro rituals' or 'micro wellness'. Pick and choose at your leisure. Or even interchange them at your fancy.

 

Micro mindfulness can look like many things. Think: Making your bed every morning upon waking up. Washing your face in the morning. Breaking from work to listen to that one song that always brings you peace or joy. Taking 5 minutes to write down three daily intentions in your journal. Buying yourself a bouquet of flowers simply because they bring you delight. Taking a few minutes to trim and place those flowers into a vase filled with water. Writing down 5 things that you are grateful for each day right before bed. You get the idea. Scribbling down an affirmation on a post-it note then sticking it on your mirror or computer. Looking up at the stars and the moon. Patting a friendly dog. Doodling.

 

The wonderful thing about micro mindfulness is that there is an endless supply of them and that they can be found everywhere, in everything. In fact, the wonderful thing about mindfulness in general is that it can be found everywhere, in everything. All mindfulness is, is the act of existing in the present moment. Not pondering your future or puzzling over your past. Being right here, right now…to quote Fatboy Slim. Which is a banger of a song so if you haven’t please stop reading this and go give it a whirl.

 

You know what? Let’s pause for a short break and hear from our sponsors (AKA, I am going to go listen to Right Here, Right Now). Ta.

 

Just kidding (well, sort of). Although in all honesty, that song truly does emulate what it means to be mindful: the primary lyrics are in fact “right here, right now” and it encourages listeners to just be in the moment. I say it should be the song of the mindful…because who says mindful music cannot be electronic dance music? Anyhow, let us crack on.



A brown crab sitting underwater in the sand by a patch of green seaweed.

Mindful moments are all little bursts of presence we have as we go about our day, and they help us ensure that we ground ourselves into the present even if it is just for a short while. But this is not to say that mindfulness should only be experienced in short doses – as we stated earlier, these little micro moments of mindfulness should amplify your more extensive wellness practices. If your schedule is genuinely so full-on every day that all you can afford to do are micro moments of mindfulness then they will form your practice, however we encourage you to deepen your practice whenever and wherever possible.

 

It is very true that many little things will add up to one big thing. It is the same energy we apply to achieving goals: we do not get the goal done the day we decide to achieve it (due to many factors), but instead we break it down into manageable chunks that we work on over time. We cannot snap our fingers and build a house, we have to build it brick by brick (which just so happens to be the name of a great Arctic Monkeys song...but I digress).

 

Now let’s look at 5 reasons why ‘micro mindfulness’ is important to enmesh within our larger wellness practice:

  1. We can find mindfulness everywhere

  2. It is a quick method of stress/anxiety relief

  3. Forms the basis for a more well-rounded routine

  4. It helps create a sense of accomplishment

  5. Allows us to reset when needed

 

Whilst there are many other reasons to consider, these are the 5 main reasons to incorporate mindfulness moments into both your daily routine and overall wellness routine. So let us dig a little deeper into the how and the why.

 

Reason 1: We can find mindfulness everywhere

 

Why is this? Because mindfulness is the act of being present…and presence is found in any place and at any point. Presence is a wonderful thing for two reasons: it is not attached to time, and it is not attached to place. It exists outside those constraints which gives us the freedom and the flexibility to find it in a myriad of things. We all run on our own schedules, but we also have to run on the schedules of others (at work or school and so on) which means it is near impossible to always be fully in the now. Since presence can be found everywhere and anywhere, it means we can drop into it whenever we need it… or simply just because we want to. So, the next time you are sitting on the train commuting into work, consider spending five minutes just watching the scenery unfold or do a bit of breathwork, heck just doodle.

 

The interesting thing about presence is that it can only every exist in a moment. It is now, it is what is occurring as we go about life. So, presence in and of itself can only ever truly exist on a micro scale. We can elongate presence through mindfulness practices because they help make ourselves aware that we are existing within the present. The more time we allocate to mindful living, the longer we stay within the bounds of presence.

 

A bit of a mind-twister but it will eventually make sense.

 

And also, why not bring awareness to more things? It gives us a whole new perspective from which to perceive ourselves and our world. Which I think is pretty cool.



A client colouring in a printed out colouring sheet from our Mindful Scenes Colouring Book. There is a woman's hand holding a light blue colour pencil as she colours in the sheet.

Reason 2: It is a quick method of stress/anxiety relief

 

Whilst it is not a long-term solution, practicing micro-mindfulness can be a great way to immediately deal with any kind of situation that turns stressful or anxiety inducing. If you are in a situation that turns sour, turning to mindfulness practices that can be practiced quickly, can be a good way to combat rising levels of stress, tension, anxiety or any feelings of anger and/or sadness (jealousy too – anything negative to sum up).

 

More traditional, established mindfulness practices to use would include EFT tapping, grounding or breathwork. Even busting out the old journal (or any piece of paper and pen or a Word document will do) and jotting down 5 things that calm you down can help (i.e. the scent of lavender, the colour green, hearing ocean waves crashing along a shoreline, your favourite song, a good bear hug) will allow you enough time and space to let yourself get recollected and work through the emotions.

 

I will state that this will be temporary, and it is highly recommended that you return to fully address the stress etc later on when you have more time but in the thick of it, introducing mindful moments can take the edge off and help you reach an equilibrium. It acts as a distraction of sorts – but a healthy distraction.

 

 

Reason 3: Forms the basis for a more well-rounded routine

 

Over my years of research and self-experimentation, I noticed that I found great benefit from practicing smaller doses of mindfulness (the more frequent the better) throughout my day because it helped me acclimate more naturally to living mire mindfully overall. That is not to say I do not ever partake in lengthier practices, as I still do. But I find that mindful moments helped me get used to practicing mindfulness daily as it was a soft, easy foray into living mindfully. It was a series of baby steps and therefore gentle and manageable. It also ensured that I could cultivate a daily practice because I only had to dedicate 5-10 minutes per day towards it. And it encouraged me to make more time for my practice (and as a result, lengthen my practice) because it felt good to be mindful and I wanted to dedicate more time to it.

 

The other benefit to this reason, is that it gave me the ability to try out many types of practice without having to spend lots of time (or money) towards it. I could conserve my energy and therefore give all the different ways to be mindful my best shot before determining whether they worked for me or not.

 

 


Woman wearing an olive green shirt with raspberry pink sports leggings and white tennis shoes dancing outside against a blue sky with white fluffy clouds.

Reason 4: It helps create a sense of accomplishment

 

You know how they say that to help combat depressive states to try to check off small, easy things to help bring about a sense of achievement? Well, it works the same for mindful living. Especially on those days that do not go very well, or you are simply extremely busy.

 

Being able to partake in a short practice can make a world of difference and at the very least, you can end your day knowing that you did something. That you were present for a little while rather than none at all. Even a little bit is better than nothing. It contributes and that is what matters most. A 5 minute practice alone will boost your mood…and you may be surprised to find just how much your mood is boosted. Simply because you got something done. We humans do like to achieve things. I suppose it is due to feeling like we are living out our purpose. Whatever the case, it works.

 

 

Reason 5: Allows us to reset when needed

 

Think of micro mindfulness as a reboot – like the kind you occasionally have to do for your phone or laptop. When a stressful situation arises, you can use a moment of mindfulness to reset your system. To temporarily switch yourself off and back on again so that you can reassess and respond in a more fitting, productive manner. It gives us the ability to let our mind and bodies a chance to pause and rest awhile; something we all need to do, often a lot more frequently than we may think. And in most cases, a quick little reboot is all we need. It allows you to find your centre – the eye of the storm – amidst the chaos. Micro mindfulness grounds us and rebalances things. It can help us get ahead of things before they get too beyond our control.

 

 

Aside from these reasons, I think there is also a lot of fun to be had with little doses of mindfulness. This connects back to reason 3 and the discussion around experimenting with different practices. But in all seriousness, micro-dosing mindfulness can be fun, both from an experimental point of view but also from a creative point of view as it enables us to use our imagination and think outside the box to see what else out there could be mindful if we choose to see if in that light. It grants us the ability to take the things we love and become present within them. For instance, I am very fond of dancing, and I love to bring in mindfulness moments (actually, I often just slide into them with barely any notice) to my dancing because when I dance, I feel free and perfectly me – I am unencumbered. I can flow and be in the moment – I bring mindfulness into the movement.

 

Perhaps then this is reason number 6. An extra reason why. Lucky you!


A beautiful scene of the Devonshire coastline. Bright blue sky with wispy white clouds, rolling green hills in the background and grey rocks covered with large patches of green seaweed in the foreground.

I will reiterate this: micro mindfulness is not the only way to go, and we highly encourage you to bring this in to flesh out your wider, lengthier mindfulness practice.

 

That being said, there is a lot to be gained from micro-dosing mindfulness (I like this variant of the term, so I will definitely be using it far more in the future - it is cheeky and a fun way to look at it), even beyond what I have written here today.

 

What do you think of ‘micro mindfulness’? Is it something you wish to bring into your life? Perhaps you have already brought it in without knowing! If you do decide to incorporate this into your mindful routine, then do enjoy those sweet drops of presence.

 

Until next time,

Jamila

 

Please share your thoughts and takeaways with us below – we’d love to hear from you! If you enjoyed this read, then click here for more blog posts or share it on social media!

 

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