Practicing Mindfulness: A How-to Guide

Last week we talked about the scientific benefits of practicing meditation.

However, meditation can be difficult, especially for beginners. Luckily, there’s another way to get the benefits of meditation: Practicing mindfulness.

Here’s how you can start:

A quick crash course on meditation:

  1. Sit straight (slouching will interfere with concentration)
  2. Focus on the breath and physical sensations in the body.
  3. Do not resist incoming thoughts. Instead, notice them, then return to concentrating on your breath.
  4. Variation: show compassion for any thoughts/worries that arise.

1. Notice

Sounds redundant, doesn’t it? Being mindful means noticing every sensation you’re feeling: the sights, sounds, smells and physical sensations you might otherwise ignore.

Here are some daily activities in which you can incorporate mindfulness:

 2. Mindfully eat

Put down your phone. Notice the taste, texture, and flavor of your meal. 

3. Mindfully walk/jog

Try jogging without your iPhone. Pay attention to your breathing and the sensation of your feet pounding the pavement. Appreciate your surroundings.

4. Write in a journal

Have a conversation with yourself. Notice what you’re feeling. Notice what’s bothering you. Then write it down. Try to figure out why you’re feeling the way you feel.

5. Try yoga

Yoga incorporates mindful breathing and an awareness of your body. Bonus: you’ll get a workout along the way.

6. And finally, meditate daily

Start with 10 minutes, then work your way up. Try headspace’s Take10 Challenge: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app 

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