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    5 Guided Meditations To Help You Find Joy In Everyday "Boring" Tasks

    A little bit of mindfulness goes a long way.

    All meditation is mindfulness, but not all mindfulness is meditation.

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    Given modern habits, where the natural pace of things is “I need it yesterday,” that’s a meaningful reminder that meditation isn’t the only way to be mindful.

    Granted, we have weekly in-office meditation sessions and enjoy a quiet ruminative breathing session as much as the next human. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from sitting cross-legged together, it’s that mindful meditation is only the start.

    Just ask John Davisi, BuzzFeed’s former VP of people operations and “head of mindfulness.” From setting up calm spaces to leading workshops and creating guided meditations we actually partake in on a weekly basis, he left BuzzFeed a more positive place than it was when he arrived. In short: He’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life.

    If meditation is all about being present and aware of your thoughts from a place of non-judgment, then mindfulness, as Davisi puts it, is “the continuous practice of honing that awareness and reconnecting to the things that we do for ourselves.”

    And yes, that means even the boring, mundane stuff. “We do so many things on autopilot,” Davisi says, “and when we do that, we’re not making conscious choices in the moment. Most people walk around thinking we are our thoughts and emotions, but the truth of the matter is we are the watchers of those thoughts and emotions. And it’s in that watching where we can take back control.”

    We understand that shifting out of autopilot is easier said than done, especially in a world built to distract you; so we asked Davisi to whip up mini guided meditations for some of the most boring tasks we could think of. Once you get past the inherent silliness, you’ll be surprised at how paying close attention to the present moment will re-energize the way you go about your day-to-day.

    When You're Brushing Your Teeth

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    As you brush, place your attention on your breath and notice the sensations of the bristles as they sweep over your teeth and gums. Focus on the action, staying present in the moment. Remind yourself that this is something positive that is contributing to your overall health and well-being. How do you want to feel as you go through your day? How do you want to feel when it’s over? Set that intention clearly. When you are finished brushing, take another slow, deep breath and smile to yourself in the mirror, thankful to have taken the time to focus on yourself.

    When You're Eating Lunch

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    Before you start eating, take a few moments to catch your breath. Focus on the food and take a moment to appreciate all the people and resources it took to get it to your plate. Be grateful for the source of the food, the people who prepared and packaged it, who stocked it at the store or cooked it in the restaurant. As you begin to eat, take mindful bites, staying present so you can taste all the delicious flavors, savoring them. When you’re finished, take a few slow, deep breaths, focusing on how this food nourishes your body, giving you the energy and nutrients you need to get through the rest of your day.

    When You're Waiting in Line

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    Inhale slowly and deeply a few times and place your attention on this moment. Notice judgments that may come up about having to wait, then consider that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. That waiting in this line gives you a brief respite from your busy day and the chance to take some time to focus on yourself. Look around and take notice of something you’ve never seen before. Appreciate its beauty and how it makes you feel. Take notice of the other people around you. That person you’re behind or in front of could be your next best friend! Give someone a smile and be grateful for this time of ease.

    When You're Commuting to Work

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    Take this opportunity to focus on setting an intention for the day. Take a few slow, deep breaths and place your attention on this moment. How do you want to feel as you go through your day? How do you want to feel when it’s over? Avoid focusing on what you don’t want. Try to focus on the feeling, instead of the thing. If your mind continues to drift toward what you don’t want, flip it around. For example, if your mind keeps going to a meeting or a project you aren’t looking forward to, change the thought to something like “My intention is to be open to having this meeting where I feel seen, heard, and appreciated, and where everyone else does too.” Take a few more deep, slow breaths, holding the feeling of your intention in your mind as you do.

    When You're Exercising

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    Focus on each movement of the exercise intentionally, feeling your muscles contract and expand. Breathe into those muscles continuously, especially after each set of the exercise to help fuel them with oxygen and aid recovery. If your thoughts drift toward fatigue, or finding reasons why you don’t want to exercise, remind yourself that you are doing something good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Focus on your gratitude for your body, how it supports you every single day, carrying you through your life. Take a few more slow, deep breaths, holding this gratitude in your mind.