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Integrating mindful pauses into your day

By Lisa Wellington | Lynnwood Times Contributor

A great way to anchor mindfulness practices into your daily activities is to find moments of pause that are already built into your routines. Waiting in a grocery line, waiting for the microwave bell to ring, or even while driving.

Today I’ll share with you one of my most sneaky and effective Mindfulness practices.  It’s a clever way to get a 2-minute stress reliever integrated throughout your day!

When you come to a lighted intersection and are waiting for your green light to go,

  1. Take your hands off the wheel
  2. Place them on your lap.  Palms up or down, it doesn’t matter. 

Result: You will instantly feel your shoulders drop and relax.  You may even instinctively take a deeper breath. 

Now look around. Ground yourself. You’ve got a good 90 seconds to 2 minutes or more to wait for your green light.  You may as well use this time to relax in an attentive and alert state. 

  • Take in what you notice in your environment. Look around.  Get yourself grounded.
  • Take note of what thoughts, feelings, sensations arise.
  • Relax. Breath. 
  • Maybe even turn off the music or alternatively, put on some relaxing or enjoyable tunes.
  • Just BE

Every time you come to an intersection while driving, drop your hands off the wheel.  It will become habit because it feels relaxing and soothing to your nervous system. Even if you are a passenger, notice your opportunity to relax and be attentive in the moment when you are at lighted intersections.

Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.

She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.

If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower. 

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