Here are thee easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your life:
1. Pause several times a day to notice your breath.
Noticing your breath makes you present. Whenever you pause to notice your breath, breathe deeper than you had been. If you tend to carry around residual stress, your unconscious breathing will be faster and more shallow. When you notice your breath and breathe more slowly, you let out a bit of stress right where you are instead of waiting for life to become less stressful.
In those moments where you notice your breath, you also notice other things. You notice your thoughts. You notice how you feel. You notice your body posture. You notice if you are standing or sitting. You notice if you are plugged in or unplugged. As you notice these things and continue to breathe slowly, respond to whatever you notice with kindness. Being present, noticing things and responding with kindness is the essence of mindfulness. It is very easy to incorporate into your day. In fact, it is much harder not to practice it.
2. Unplug yourself.
Turn off your phone, stay off the computer, don’t watch television and be present where you are. You can do that for 5 minutes or 5 hours and as you notice what you notice in that time, respond to those thoughts and feelings with kindness.
3. Start a mediation habit.
Meditation is sitting and focusing your attention on your breath. You can do that for 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. You can do it in the middle of the night. A solid practice would be 20 minutes twice a day. Sit once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening. Dedicating yourself to a sitting habit is the difficult part. Sitting and doing nothing is as easy as it gets. If it’s not easy, its needed.
Mindfulness, when practiced in small doses, spills over into your day. Practicing meditation is doing all three of these at once. If you develop a mediation practice you will find many moments throughout the day where you are unplugged, aware of your breathing, present, and responding with kindness to the world where you are.