Several techniques and resources are available to easily cultivate mindfulness as a daily practice.
1. Getting in the Right Headspace™
This app is a treasure trove of thought-provoking and calming messages to help you practice mindfulness throughout the day. Most of the 15–30-minute sessions are led by a mindfulness expert. Each gets you calm, present in the moment, and leaves you with tips you can recall anytime you need them.
Both meditation sessions and mindfulness sessions cover an array of focuses, sleep sessions, sleep sounds, and more. The Headspace app is free to download at the App Store or Google Play and has a plethora of free sessions. There’s also a paid plan option for any serious mindfulness gurus.
2. Meditation Class Is in Session
Let’s try a few moments of mediation. Find someone to read this to you in a clam voice, pausing a few minutes after each step.
Gently let your eyes close.
Settle in and feel your feet on the floor, your spine stacked, your hands in your lap.
Take a moment to focus on your breath.
Feel the weight of your diaphragm change as you take a deep in-breath…and now a long out-breath.
If your mind has drifted off, acknowledge that thought. Accept it, without judging it.
Gently bring your attention back to the body, acknowledging any sensations, tension, or pain.
Let those sensations exist. Give them room in your body to be.
Turning your attention back to the breath, feel the weight of your diaphragm change as you take a deep in-breath…and now a long out-breath.
When you’re ready, open your eyes.
Do you feel refreshed, lighter, more mindful?
3. The Game of Life
Living is complex, chaotic, exciting, enthralling, and a swirling mass of all those things together. Pick an area of your life you’d like to improve, be more attentive to, or gain more from. Practicing mindfulness around a main area of your life can reap amazing benefits.
Let’s see which of these best fit your situation:
• Mindful Eating
Nutrition is a large part of your daily routine. It can be either fuel or frustration, depending on your eating habits and relationship with food. Intuitive eating mixes nutrition with mindful practices to help strengthen your body and your mind. There’s even a Mindful Eating Guide on Health Line’s website that’s a fantastic starting point to stay present in and out of the kitchen.
• Mindful Parenting
Piles of laundry and toys + raging teenage hormones + homework on the new math system x crying terrible twos + navigating a first-time crush = one majorly exhausted parent. Mindful parenting techniques can turn the crazy times with your kids into manageable moments of love and growth. Taking time to slow down and be present not only makes things easier for you, it does the same for your child. A brave pediatrician tells her story for practicing mindful parenting—it starts with ending perfectionism.
• Mindfulness at Work
The grind. The nine-to-five. Payin’ dem bills. A big majority of our life is spent at work, behind the desk, punching the time clock. It’s easy to just go through the motions, without being present and intentional about the work we’re doing or the interactions we have. There are realistic ways to be more mindful in the workplace, though. Make it a priority to take breaks to clear your mind and refocus on your next task. Remember to actively listen to conversations you have by making solid eye contact. You could even try email meditation. Check out this great article for more mindful workplace tips.
• Mindful Students
Teachers recognize the flood of information that comes at students is a lot to process. Even the quick switch from subject to subject can leave children on auto pilot. That’s why some teachers are starting their lesson plans with a daily mindful moment for themselves and their students.
Now you better understand what being mindful means, take the next five minutes to be in the moment, accept yourself, and direct your attention with intention. Remember, your mind is becoming a non-judgmental zone—soft lighting, river sounds, and all. Take a deep in-breath…and exhale.