Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. It involves noticing your experience with curiosity. Mindfulness asks that you bring all your focus and attention to what is happening right now, in this very moment. Simply, the practice of purposely bringing one's attention in the present moment without evaluation, a skill one develops through meditation or other training.
The goal in a mindfulness practice is not to clear your mind, but instead to be non-judgmentally engaged in the present moment as fully as possible. Luckily, there are lots of ways to practice mindfulness in a minute or less so you can live a mindful and healthier life!
Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Take a mindful breath: This is the easiest way to practice mindfulness, anytime or anywhere. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold, and then exhale through your mouth. For a full tutorial on mindful breathing, use apps like Headspace or Calm.
2. Mindful awareness of routine activities: We can practice bringing our mindful attention to daily activities that are often performed mindlessly. We can pay attention to the movement of the body and the sights and sounds around us.
3. Mindful Awareness & Technology: Our devices often take us very far from the present moment. Here are some suggestions for using technology as a mindfulness tool. For example: Leave the phone/iPod at home when you go for a walk or run, and just pay attention to the natural world. Digital detox from all screens once a week.
4. Accept things as they are: It is a human tendency to wish for better things. Not everybody is satisfied with their present conditions. But a mindful person doesn’t judge. By accepting things, we realize their true worth.
5. Talk to someone with your undivided attention: Put your phone away and make listening to the other person your primary goal. Make eye contact and pay attention to how their face moves and how their voice changes as they communicate. Be present with them.