So what is mindfulness? When we are fully present, we can attune to the sensations of our bodies, suspending our judgment and accepting the moment for exactly what it is.
Here are a few ideas to help you with your mindfulness practice
1. Pause and connect to your senses for a few seconds. What are you seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching? Acknowledge and accept what you feel.
2. Do one thing at a time. Ditch multitasking for a few minutes. Direct your mental, physical, and emotional attention towards one thing. If you’re folding laundry, for instance, approach the chore with a sense of wonder: how do the textures feel against your fingers? How do your arms feel as you repeatedly move them to manipulate the material? What feeling arises when you gaze on a neatly folded stack of towels?
3. Test out a meditation app. Meditation can be a highly effective method of practicing mindfulness. Several apps offer meditations with a wide range of lengths and themes—these can be a great way to get started
and track your consistency.
4. Calm your mind by
box breathing. Box breathing involves four simple steps: breathing in, holding the breath, breathing out, then holding the breath again. Visualize the steps of this practice as the four sides of a square box: breathe in for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, breathe out for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds. Repeat several times.
5. Develop a gratitude practice. Create a gratitude habit at the beginning or end of every day. Try writing three things you’re thankful for or you can free journal about the highlights of your week.
Just a little reminder that people of all ages can benefit from mindfulness, particularly children. Mindfulness impacts brain development, specifically skills related to the functioning of the prefrontal cortex—think focus, self-regulation, and patience. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our roundup of
10 Books to Teach Your Children Mindfulness and leave us any thoughts or questions you may have about mindfulness in the comments below.