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How to Practice Mindfulness in Your Life

April 28, 2015
How to Practice Mindfulness in Your Life As we’ve discussed in the previous two posts, mindfulness is purposefully paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. Essentially, it is a skill to train your mind to focus on the present moment, rather than fixating on the past or the future. Mindfulness helps you build awareness about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, a process that generates mental and physical benefits. But mindfulness takes practice, and it can be hard to know how to start. One of the best ways to begin is to use guided meditations that take you through various steps of focusing on the present moment. There are tons of free, guided meditations online. Here’s a video with a basic beginning instruction for mindfulness meditation as well as some additional resources for guided meditation: As you’ll notice in these examples, the breath is often the first object of focus taught to beginning meditators because we always have our breath with us. But you can use any number of focal points to make contact with the here and now: physical sensations (what you’re seeing, hearing, touching), an activity (eating, brushing your teeth, writing), talking and listening, and so on. One of the most powerful things about mindfulness is that it can be practiced at any time—even during normal, everyday activities such as eating and walking. So mindfulness doesn’t have to be all-consuming. It is a tool for stepping back, in the midst of our everyday stressors, and being fully present for even a short period of time. This practice can go a long way to help you reset and meet the many demands made of you each day. If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness, there are many books, blogs, and other resources to explore. To start: watch this brief video of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in bringing mindfulness to the West, talking about the idea of accepting things as they are, and read Psychology Today's article on the essential qualities to cultivate mindfulness.
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