Begin Your Mindfulness Journey in 8 Steps

This person is practicing mindfulness by doing yoga.

Is it hard to stop, breathe, and think? Do you overreact to the world around you? 

Then, this guide is for you. Today, we’ll walk you through a few mindfulness practices to help you ground yourself and be more present in your daily life.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the state of being conscious of your present state, while acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and sensations.

The state of being mindful is described as becoming open and one with your thoughts without casting judgement upon yourself. Practicing mindfulness is the tool to avoid self-criticism and anxiety.

In the modern world, the whirlwind technology, social media, and overstimulation makes being present difficult. Mindfulness is all about getting reconnected to what’s happening now.

What you need to know before practicing mindfulness

1.   You can’t fully quiet your mind 

Your mind will wander. The point isn’t to fully quiet your mind, it’s to be aware of your present state without judgement. Let your thoughts come and go, make peace with your restless thoughts, and always come back to your present self. 

2.  Judgment will come

You will judge yourself and your thoughts. It’s human nature. Just remember that we all have a hard time ignoring the critic in our heads. Learning to focus on the tasks at hand is mindfulness.

3. You can’t control everything 

One reason people struggle focusing on the present is because we want to control our lives. You can’t control other people or many of your own life situations. Take a breath, realize what you can and cannot control and let go of the rest. 

Steps to Practice Mindfulness:

1. Find a daily purpose.

To find our intention ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I feeling?
  • How can I take good care of myself today?
  • What can I do to feel more fulfilled today?
  • What would make me happiest right now?
  • Am I focusing on long-term goals or short-term?
  • What actions should I take today?
  • Am I doing things I said I would do?
  • Am I living up to my own expectations?
  • Am I showing up as the person I know I can become?

2. Set that intention for the day

 When you wake up in the morning, don’t go directly to your phone. Set your intention. 

For example: “I will be patient with myself and others today,” or “I will eat clean and have fun today.”

3. Meditate 

You don’t need outside tools to help you meditate. You can do this wherever you are. Focus on current experience and breathe. Notice the sensations from head to toe. Return attention to your breath, if you find get distracted.

4. Focus on your breathing. 

If there are too many things going on, take 5 deep breaths. Center yourself. Focus on your lungs going in and out. Even one minute of breath focus helps.

5. Pay attention. 

Pay attention to your surroundings, feelings, and sensations. It’s hard to slow down in this world, so whenever you get the chance, even when you’re eating, notice your 5 senses. What you taste, what you are touching, all of the smells around you, what sounds surround you, take a look at who and what is around. Enjoy the moment.

6. Live in the moment. 

Enjoy the present. You will never get this time back. Focus on where you are and what you are doing at this very moment and soak it in. Try and 

7. Accept yourself and your thoughts. 

Be kind to yourself and your wandering mind. Treat yourself the way you would a good friend. Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the feelings you find yourself lost in. Stay present!

8. Take a walk and come back to yourself. 

When you find yourself having a hard time focusing on the present and need a minute to clear your head, take a walk and get some fresh air. Sit with your thoughts a moment and let them go. Take time for yourself.

Why should you practice being mindful?

Sometimes feelings and our surroundings can overwhelm us. Connecting with those feelings and sensations can be scary at first but giving yourself time to reflect on why you’re having these feelings and what causes them can ultimately improve your life. Think of this exercise as nurturing and reconnecting with yourself. Offer yourself kindness and take the time to show yourself love and no judgment. 

Simple mindfulness exercises can be practiced anywhere and at any time. If you’re having trouble staying in the present try and take 15-30 minutes a day of quiet alone time to start practicing being mindful. 

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