It can be challenging to remain mindful throughout your day.
Life’s responsibilities and distractions seem to make it impossible to stop for a few minutes of meditation or even just to breathe.
But the truth is, mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
It is all about being fully present in the moment – in whatever you happen to be doing.
You don’t have to be present 24/7 (who can do that?!), but the more you remember to do it, the more habitual it becomes.
There are many ways to remind yourself to stay mindful even during the most hectic days.
It is all about finding the best method for you.
- Why You Need to Be Reminded to Practice Mindfulness
- How Do You Remind Yourself to Be Mindful?
- 15 Mindfulness Reminders to Help You Maintain Your Practice
Why You Need to Be Reminded to Practice Mindfulness
Why is it even necessary to remind yourself about practicing mindfulness? Simply put, it can be hard to stop during the day for something that doesn’t seem urgent.
Modern life moves fast, and we are constantly bombarded by noise and information from every direction.
Just like you need a reminder to go to a meeting or appointment, you must remember to take a mindful moment.
Here are a few more reasons people might need reminders to practice mindfulness:
- They have trouble staying on top of regular responsibilities and routines
- Their work or home life is chaotic
- They have a fast-paced job that rarely offers downtime
- They don’t get a lot of time to themselves
- They have lots of responsibilities at home, such as caring for young kids
- They feel bombarded by noise and input and don’t want anything else to remember
How Do You Remind Yourself to Be Mindful?
It is important to remember that there is no “right” way to remind yourself to be mindful.
Some people need alarms or notes as a direct call to practice mindfulness. Others find it more helpful to use elements of their daily lives as a reminder.
People may also use:
- Visual reminders
- Dedicated spaces
- Special sensory items
- Meaningful tokens
- Daily routines
- Mindfulness apps
Let’s review some of your options so you can decide what best fits your lifestyle and schedule.
15 Mindfulness Reminders to Help You Maintain Your Practice
So, how do you remind yourself to practice mindfulness throughout the day? These methods may provide some options for you.
Some people find it helpful to use mindfulness tokens to remind themselves to meditate or clear their thoughts.
These don’t have to be anything special — you can use a mindfulness bracelet, something on your keychain, or an object you keep on your desk.
The goal is to make it an item you see periodically throughout the day, reminding you to take a few minutes — however that looks for you.
Some people like choosing significant tokens like a depiction of the Buddha or a zen garden. It doesn’t really matter as long as it is meaningful to you.
Some people roll their eyes at mindfulness signs, while others find them truly helpful. If you need a visual reminder to take the time to slow down, you might like a small sign.
You can hang these in your office or throughout your house or just keep one on your desk. Feel free to choose one that speaks to you — and not each one will.
The point is to redirect your focus every time you see the sign. While it is true that some of them can be kitschy, others can be meaningful and poignant reminders.
One of the most popular ways to remind yourself to stay mindful is to set up a meditation space in your home or workspace.
It can look however you like — the point is that it is a separate space that is just for that one task.
Some people enjoy making a meditation room or corner in their home and filling it with things that help them focus, such as meaningful pictures or items, music players or sound machines, scents, or other objects.
But if you don’t have that much space, you can even make a smaller meditation corner in your home or workspace.
Many people enjoy creating moments of mindfulness around normal routines of their day. In this way, the routine itself becomes a reminder.
You might try your normal morning or evening routine, such as during your morning commute.
Other examples include putting children to bed, coming home from work, or doing your nightly pre-bedtime tasks.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how to work mindfulness into your routines — but many people enjoy choosing ones that allow them to be alone and quiet or with a few key people.
Just as certain smells or sights can provide sensory reminders to be mindful, sounds may be helpful as well.
Some find it productive to choose a meaningful sound or one that they find particularly comforting or relaxing — such as the sound of children laughing, water burbling over rocks, waves crashing on the beach, or birds tweeting in the trees.
Whenever you hear a meaningful sound, it serves as a reminder to take a few moments to stop.
6. Tea Kettles
This idea might be a little niche, but it may also work for you, especially if you love drinking tea and making many cups daily.
Making tea is its own little ritual, with a symphony of familiar sounds as the water boils and then the kettle squeals (or beeps, if you have an electric one).
If you are an avid tea drinker and find yourself making trips to your kettle throughout the day, why not make that routine into a time for meditation? It even provides a built-in “timer” to meditate for a few minutes until your tea is made.
If you’re a schedule-oriented person, you might find it helpful just to set an alarm to remind yourself to practice mindfulness.
In the age of cell phones, an alarm is easy. Not everyone enjoys this kind of practical reminder, and it is okay if it doesn’t work for you.
You can set the alarm for a time of day when you know you will have a bit more time so that it isn’t ringing when you’re in the middle of an important work task or another routine.
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8. Sensory Items
These items have been used in religious ceremonies and meditation as long as they have existed.
Many people enjoy using them to focus during times of prayer or meditation. But they can also serve as a reminder to practice mindfulness.
Maybe you are a particularly tactile person who finds comfort in certain textures, patterns, or fabrics.
You may find it helpful to carry your favorite sensory item with you and take a moment to practice mindfulness whenever you touch it.
It doesn’t have to be anything special — just something that comforts you.
9. Mindfulness Apps
They say there is an app for everything these days — and in some ways, that’s true.
You can even find mindfulness apps that offer guided meditations and helpful reminders to be mindful throughout your day. Here are just a few available:
Headspace — Headspace is a mindfulness reminder app for iOS or Android phones designed to help guide you through beginning practices in mindfulness. It provides daily 10-minute guided exercises to help you focus and move past your insecurities.
The Mindfulness App — The Mindfulness App is ideal for beginners. It offers many options for customization, such as guided meditations with durations that you can set (options range from three to 30 minutes).
Calm — Calm is a popular app with many customizable options for guided meditations and focused practice. Users can pay a subscription or access a limited amount of free content.
Take a Break! — Take a Break! is an app designed to help you pause and collect yourself at key points throughout the day. It offers a variety of guided meditations of varying lengths.
10. Written Notes
If you don’t have a sign that you want to hang up, why not make your own? A meditation reminder can be as simple as a Post-It note stuck to the wall.
Many people also like writing messages to themselves on the bathroom mirror, simply because that tends to be a place where most of us start our day.
It can get you pondering the most important things while you start your morning routine, helping you embark on your day in the right mindset.
11. Morning Meditation
It can be challenging to find a good time to meditate or practice mindfulness once the day starts.
That is why many people find it helpful to start their day with a few minutes of quiet and introspection.
It not only ensures that you make meditation a priority, but it may also help you start your day feeling more calm and centered.
Some people find that they are less stressed by the chaos of their daily routine when they have done their morning meditation. It doesn’t have to be long — just a few minutes is enough.
12. Evening Meditation
Alternatively, you might be someone whose routines and responsibilities start from the moment they open their eyes. If this is the case, you might prefer to make mindfulness a part of your evening routine.
As you settle in for the night, finish with a few minutes of meditation or just simple, focused quiet.
You can include it along with other parts of your routine, such as washing your face, brushing your teeth, filling your dog’s water dish, and so on. Incorporating it into these nightly tasks makes it easy to remember.
13. Your Name
Another way that people may remind themselves to be mindful is their name. It might not be possible immediately after hearing it — since we’re usually engaged in a conversation after someone calls our name.
But when the conversation is over, use the mention of your name to center yourself and spend a moment in mindfulness.
If you have young children, who probably repeat “Mom” or “Dad” repeatedly throughout the day, you may find it more challenging to use a name reminder.
It might not work for everyone, but many people find that it is a great reminder for them.
14. Washing Hands
Some people find it helpful to be mindful during routine daily tasks – like washing your hands. You can quiet your mind whenever you turn the sink on and set an automatic time limit of about 20 to 30 seconds.
It is an especially helpful method if you have a hectic daily schedule without long periods of quiet or solitude.
15. Your Senses
If you are a sensory person, you might find using your senses a helpful reminder.
Maybe you walk by the same bakery every morning and smell cinnamon bagels, so the smell reminds you to focus on gratitude for a few moments.
Maybe the beep of the coffee pot is a signal to you or the passing of cars on your daily commute.
There are countless ways to use your five senses as a reminder to practice mindfulness, and it all comes down to finding one that particularly speaks to you.
Being mindful can sometimes feel impossible, and it doesn’t always come easily.
But ultimately, it’s not about perfection. It is just about finding the method that works for you and helps you feel like you’re maintaining your habit.
As you become more present and aware, you’ll find you are living a more joyful and enriching life.