How To Practice Mindfulness: 6 Simple Steps
Have you been thinking about how you can live more in the moment? Wondering how to practice mindfulness in your daily life? The best way to do that is by starting a meditation practice.
We’re here to help with six simple steps that you can do right now to help stop your mind from being stuck in the feelings of anxiousness and stress of the past, or spending all of your time worrying about what may happen in the future.
For anyone who struggles with feeling overwhelmed regularly, mindfulness is just the thing you need to remind yourself that everything in life is temporary and that you can get through anything.
Step 1: Find A Quiet Place
The first, and probably most important, step in learning how to practice mindfulness is finding a quiet place to meditate where you won’t be disturbed. If you try to meditate in a public place, or somewhere that your children, pets, partners, or roommates will regularly be interrupting you, it’s next to impossible to find the headspace needed to be able to get what you need out of your practice.
Don’t feel selfish to ask for a little time to yourself, either. Meditation, at its soul, is a form of self care… and we all need a reminder to take care of ourselves better. Just five to ten minutes a day, or even a few times a week, can actually make you a better parent, partner, coworker, and person in general. It’s worth it, and you’re worth it.
Step 2: Get In A Comfortable Position
Meditation for mindfulness can be done in any position that you want, as long as you’re comfortable. That’s the key, no matter how long you choose to sit for.
If your body is uncomfortable, you’ll be brought out of your focus. Take some time to find the best position for you, whether that is sitting in a chair or the floor, or lying on your back. Make sure that your body is in a natural position, not sitting too upright or “proper.” This also helps to ground you so that you feel safe to let go for a few minutes.
Step 3: Close Your Eyes and Focus on Your Breathing
Once you’re comfortable, close your eyes. They’ll likely want to open back up, especially if you’re new to meditation, so continue to gently close them if you need to.
Having your eyes closed shuts out the visible distractions and helps to turn your focus inward. You can then begin to focus on your breathing.
Learning to focus on your breathing during meditation is one of the most useful parts of the practice, because it is the step that you can take out into the real world with you. Focusing on your breathing, especially during times of high anxiousness, can help you calm yourself down both mentally and physically, and you can do it anywhere you need to.
Some people like to count their breaths when they happen, and others like to focus just on the natural flow of the breath through the body. There is no right or wrong way to learn how to practice mindfulness, you just have to go with what works best for you.
Step 4: Let Go of Your Thoughts
Easier said than done, right? Thoughts are often unconscious, and most of us have a constant running dialogue going on that we aren’t even entirely aware of.
When you’re practicing meditation in an attempt to find a greater sense of mindfulness, you’re not going to stop those thoughts… it just isn’t possible. The goal is to be able to identify them as thoughts, see them without judgement, and gently push them away.
When you’re first starting out, it’s helpful to mentally say “thoughts” or “thinking,” then see them being pushed aside or wiped off of a chalkboard.
Step 5: Come Back To Reality Slowly
Once time is up, resist the urge to get up and tackle the rest of your day. You’ll likely feel refreshed and ready to go, but it’s important to take a few moments to sit in that feeling before you go.
Feel what it’s like to have your mind be a little bit more at rest, and enjoy the feeling of just existing in the moment. If you get up too soon, your mind is more likely to jump right back into that “go go go” feeling that you likely live with most of the day. Easing back in increases the likelihood that you can make that feeling of calm last at least a little bit longer.
Step 6: Apply It To Real Life
The entire point of a meditation practice designed to help you practice mindfulness is for you to take that knowledge out into the real world. It’s easy to be in the moment without distractions; it’s much harder to be able to do that with everything life has to throw at you.
Mindfulness is a way to learn to look at the things that happen differently, with less judgement. To do that, you have to allow those real world experiences to happen to you.
If you tend to feel overwhelmed regularly, PYM Mood Chews may be able to help you put some additional space between that initial gut reaction and how you choose to react. It helps to counteract that stress on a hormonal level, using adaptogens and amino acids that can support some of those biological stress reactions while you’re working on teaching your brain to react differently as well.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean that you’ve reached enlightenment. With a meditation practice designed to teach you how to practice mindfulness, or living in the moment, you can learn to not react as strongly to your triggers and the many things life may put in your path.
Using the tips presented by PYM, and by sitting in meditation regularly, you won’t be able to stop your thoughts, but you can learn to build some distance that allows you to feel a greater sense of peace and calm, both mentally and physically.