Get a FREE Consultation

7 Ways to Cultivate Mindfulness

mindfulness self-help Nov 14, 2023

Mindfulness is a mental state and practice characterized by paying deliberate attention, in the present moment, without judgment. It means noticing your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and your surroundings without evaluating them or reacting to them. Mindfulness encourages you to focus on the present, rather than dwell on the past or worry about the future. Noticing without judgment means leaving out labels, comments like “I should have,” being critical, and judging something as “good” or “bad.”

This practice can be a tool for reducing stress, improving focus and concentration, enhancing emotional regulation, improving physical and mental health, increasing self-awareness and resilience, reducing negative thinking, and contributing to overall wellbeing and satisfaction.

7 Ways to Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness Meditation: Sit quietly while focusing on your breath and notice your bodily sensations without judging them.
Example: My back is aching. I should have practiced more yoga.

Body Scan: Lie down and mentally scan your body from head to toe, noticing any areas of tension, discomfort, or sensations, without judgment.
Example: My neck is stiff. I always get so stressed out about everything!

Mindful Breathing: Pay attention to how you are breathing. Are your breaths slow and deep or are they fast and shallow? Does your belly move when you breathe or do your shoulders move up and down? Again, notice without judgment.
Example: My breathing is shallow. Why can’t I breathe right?

Mindful Eating: Sit down to eat without distractions like tv or your phone. Smell your food and notice how it looks. Take one bite and put your fork/spoon down. Savor the taste. Notice how you are chewing and swallowing. Observe without judgment.
Example: I am eating mashed potatoes. I’ve eaten too many carbs today.

Mindful Walking: Go for a walk without listening to a podcast, audio book or music. Let it be a quiet time for you. Feel the ground beneath your feet, notice your surroundings, and focus on each step. Notice the details and experience them fully, without judging them.
Example: My neighbor’s yard is full of weeds. This neighborhood is going down the drain.

Journaling: Write down your thoughts and emotions and reflect on your experiences without judgment. Express yourself and increase your awareness of your inner world.
Example: I forgot about my dentist appointment today. I am such an idiot!

Yoga: The definition of yoga is union of mind and body. Yoga combines physical movement with mindfulness because you are focusing on the pose and how you are breathing, without judging how you are performing.
Example: I am moving into downward facing dog pose and my feet are not flat on the ground. I will never be able to do this pose!

If you want a real challenge, look in the mirror or step on the scale and notice without judgment!

By practicing mindfulness, you can cultivate being non-reactive and non-critical. Observe things as they are, not as they should be. Try this and see how it can benefit you.

How will you practice mindfulness?