Learn Mindfulness

10 Easy Ways to Start Being Mindful Today

10 Easy Ways to Start Being Mindful Today

Over the past 30 years, the practice of mindfulness meditation (mostly a secularized version originating from Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program) has spread throughout the West.

Today millions of people all around the world are discovering the power of mindfulness through the practice of formal meditation. However, mindfulness practice extends beyond just sitting on the meditation cushion.

Mindfulness practice doesn't stop at being mindful of the breath. In just the same way that we are mindful of physical sensations in the body along with thoughts and emotions in the mind while we meditate, we can become mindful of feelings, thoughts, and emotions throughout our everyday life.

Activities such as walking, cleaning, and driving can be transformed from mundane autopilot activities to moments in our day where we stop the habitual rushing around (even if only for a moment) and come alive to the beauty and peace of that moment.

All it takes to begin living a more mindful life is to do a few minor activities mindfully more often. The result starts out small, but quickly these little moments of mindfulness practice can spread into the rest of your life in the same way that the effects of a consistent sitting meditation practice spread into the rest of your life (provided it's with a consistent effort) and positively affect everything you do.

Below are 10 easy ways to start being more mindful in your daily life. My suggestion? Pick 1-2 of these to work on at first. By focusing in on a few small moments each day you'll be more likely to follow through and develop mindfulness into a daily practice throughout your life.

Healing Through Understanding: A Simple Compassion Meditation for Healing and Clarity

Healing Through Understanding: A Simple Compassion Understanding for Healing and Clarity

Each day, we’re presented with challenges associated when interacting with other people.

It’s inevitable, there’s no way to get around it: when two people come together there’s always a chance for conflict to arise.

But each day you also have a choice: to let it go on affecting you in the same way and causing you stress, anxiety, anger, and resentment or to do something about it.

I know, people tell you to "let it go" all the time, but it's not exactly that easy. So what exactly are you supposed to do?

Imagine that the conflict is like someone holding on to your wrist. It's very hard to immediately pull away when someone is holding your wrist, you generally need to turn your hand around in some way that becomes uncomfortable for them so that their grip loosens. From there, you can easily pull away.

Most times when we hold on to things it's very much like this. If you can find a way to change your perspective, to alter your angle, you can see things in a new way. And seeing things in this new way allows you to more easily loosen the "grip" of the thing you're clinging to.

Emotions like anger and resentment are difficult to let go of, because we develop the desire to harm others so that we can "get back" at them. But if we can develop a new perspective, one in which we see the person and the situation more clearly, we'll be able to let go of that anger and resentment and find peace.

That’s why I created Healing Through Understanding, a simple compassion meditation. I came up with this form of compassion meditation a long time ago and it's helped me on countless occasions.

Sometimes I call this a compassion meditation exercise, and sometimes the understanding meditation exercise, because that's what compassion, as well as love (and any relationship), is all about: understanding.

At the heart of the Healing Through Understanding compassion meditation lies 2 points:

1. There's a reason behind every action (we all suffer- we all have challenges and difficulties) 2. Everyone is basically good

When it comes down to it, this exercise is really about working with these two points.

Whether it's a friend, loved one, or colleague, the Healing Through Understanding compassion meditation can transform the way you think of another person, help you cultivate compassion and loving-kindness for the person, and in doing so actually help heal the relationship itself as well as the pain you feel in connection with that person.

Let's get into the meditation...

Healing Through Understanding

Think of someone. This could be someone you hate, someone you generally dislike, or simply a friend or loved one whom you’ve only recently had an argument or conflict with.

Whoever they are, sit and meditate on this person. To do this, hold the person in your mind.

This, of course, isn’t possible in a literal sense because you don't know everything about the person (that's the key here), but you’re holding as much of the person you know- your perception of the person (this is what you've done with the person from the beginning, very important to realize this)- within your mind.

Simply be mindful of the various thoughts and feelings that arise while thinking of this person. Don’t judge anything that arises, simply observe it mindfully.

Once you have a decent picture of the person in your mind and you've given it at least a few minutes to develop while observing mindfully, do these three things:

1. See the picture. 

Realize that this very picture in your head, this perception, is what you’re drawing judgment based off of. Not off of the real person, but off of your interpretation of that person.

This is so important, because most of us make the mistake of assuming that what we see is the way it is. But the reality is, most of the time we only see a fragment of what truly is and what we do see is colored by our bias and attitudes.

2. Contemplate the cause. 

Now think of something which that person does or has done which you disapproved of and think of why they might have done or be doing said thing.

If the person said something hurtful to you, start throwing possibilities out there: maybe something is stressing them out and they don’t know how to deal with it, maybe they had a tragedy recently or were hurt and don’t know how to deal with the anger and sadness they’re feeling, or something else.

Whatever it is, start thinking of specific possibilities that could be making them act this way. Think of as many as you can.

3. See clearly.

Lastly, take a step back and review these many possibilities which you’ve brainstormed.

Realize that the reason for their hurtful behavior is two things: 1) not originating from or because of you, and 2) is because they suffer in some way

In other words, from something which they’re experiencing which they don’t know how to deal with.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll see that there’s not just more to the person than meets the eye but that they suffer just like you and I.

To be clear, you don't actually know why they're doing what they're doing. You're simply guessing. But keeping the 2 major points in mind, that we all suffer in some way and that we're all basically good, you know that it's something which exists beneath the surface.

So it's by taking the time to brainstorm what that thing might be which is causing suffering for them and leading them to lash out at others that you're able to let go of the anger and resentment within you and transform it into compassion and understanding.

Conflict usually involves one or more people causing hurt due to being overcome with anger, so if you can realize that the reason this person acted out with anger and aggression wasn’t because of you, but because of something deep within themselves that they’re hurting from, you can learn to cultivate a great amount of compassion for that person as well as alleviate your own feelings of anger and stress.


This is a very healing exercise which can be done at any time of day and in any situation. I’m not sure if I use this literally every single day, but it's close to it.

We’re constantly placed into situations where we have to interact with others, even when just driving on the freeway (and boy is it nice to get cut-off by a dangerous driver with my kids in the car!), so this is an exercise you can use literally daily to cultivate compassion, loving-kindness, and a deeper understanding of others.

Healing Through Understanding guided compassion meditation

If you'd like to take the Healing Through Understanding compassion meditation further, I featured it as a guided meditation on the Zen for Everyday Life podcast recently.

You can listen, as well as download the MP3 straight to your computer, here:

Listen to ZfEL #15: Guided Compassion Meditation - Healing Through Understanding

Additional Resources for Exploring Compassion and Loving-Kindness Meditation

Here are a few resources for exploring more conflict resolution, compassion, and loving-kindness meditations and mindfulness techniques:

  1. How to Practice Loving-Kindness Meditation
  2. How to Overcome Daily Challenges with Loving-Kindness Meditation
  3. Love is the Way: The Universal Path to Peace, Happiness, and Enlightenment
  4. 3 Ways Intimate Love Keeps Us from Peace and Happiness and How to Transcend Through Self-Love
  5. Why Compassionate Acceptance Is Key to a Healthy Mindfulness Practice (and How to Do It)

10 Awesome Mindfulness Tips for Beginners

10 Awesome Mindfulness Tips for Beginners

So, you've read a magazine article, a blog post, or maybe had a conversation with someone about mindfulness. Maybe it's not the first time you've heard, read, or talked about it.

Now, you're interested in practicing mindfulness because you want to use it to improve your life in some way. Maybe you want to reduce your stress level, get rid of your anxiety altogether, or maybe you just want to learn how to make the most of your life as a whole.

But, where do you start? Basic how-to instruction is necessary, but that's not enough if you want to actually develop your mindfulness practice into a daily habit, or a way of life.

Being a dime-a-dozen nowadays and growing every minute, quality information can be difficult to identify when it comes to mindfulness. What should you listen to and what shouldn't you?

Many resources discuss mindfulness practice only as a form of sitting meditation. This greatly limits your practice.

In order to obtain a truly calm and clear mind and obtain the full benefits of mindfulness practice, you can’t just practice mindfulness as a form of sitting meditation.

You also need to be mindful while going about your everyday life. After all, what good is anything which isn’t actually useful to you in your everyday life?

One of the great things about mindfulness is that it's available to you in every moment. You can practice mindfulness right now this very second and touch seeds of peace and joy within yourself. You can directly and immediately create a positive impact on your daily life and in a number of ways.

In order to start you off on the right foot, I’ve organized a list of my best mindfulness tips for beginners just starting out on the path to living a more mindful life. These are all the things that I myself have found to be important, made the mistake of not doing, or both at the beginning of my own practice.

Following even one of these points can greatly improve your practice if you’re just starting out. I’d suggest following each mindfulness tip closely.

Keep in mind that the purpose of this post isn't to provide instruction on how to practice mindfulness itself, rather as I mentioned it's to give you a sort of jump start to make sure you start off in the right direction from the get-go. ________________________________________________

This post is adapted from my book, The Little Book of Mindfulness. It covers everything you need to know about mindfulness from A to Z. You can get it free by entering your name and email below:


Here are 10 awesome mindfulness tips for beginners:

10 Awesome Mindfulness Tips for Beginners

1. Focus on developing concentration

Concentration is the anchor of mindfulness. If you imagine mindfulness as the ship, yourself as the ship captain who steers the ship and decides where to place the anchor, then concentration is the anchor and the object of your mindfulness, such as your breath or steps, is the anchor point.

Concentration is the constant partner to mindfulness. Think of it as the active force and mindfulness as the passive. When you consciously decide to focus on your breath and work to keep your focus on it, this is your concentration.

Think of mindfulness then as a field of vision that extends outward to cover everything in your perception. When your concentration wanders to a thought, sensation, or distraction and you're aware that you just became distracted this is your mindfulness. Mindfulness is the great observer.

In the beginning, you'll want to put all of your focus on developing your concentration. At the beginning of your practice, your mind will literally be all over the place. You’ll seem to have a new thought or some other distraction every few seconds.

This is perfectly normal. I went through the same thing at first. It took time to quiet my own mind as well as develop my concentration, but it was well worth it. Simply quieting the mind can bring you a great sense of peace and happiness.

Without developing your concentration, you won’t be able to practice very effectively. So it’s necessary, at first, to do so.

Once your concentration improves you’ll be able to put more focus into exercising mindfulness. You’ll start noticing why your mind strayed (was it a thought or feeling? What was the thought?), as opposed to simply noticing your mind stray and refocusing on your object of meditation.

2. Pick simple objects

At the beginning, you’re going to want to pick an easy object of meditation. Then once your skill improves you can pick more difficult objects. At first, I’d suggest practicing mindful breathing for a couple of weeks.

To practice mindful breathing, all you have to do is stop and be mindful of your breath. Whether you’re at your desk, at a stoplight, or in between places or sitting down for an extended meditation session. Just stop what you’re doing and follow your breath with mindfulness.

Focus your concentration on each exhale and inhale and let your mind quiet. If your mind seems a bit chaotic, don’t worry. This is perfectly normal and might last a few weeks before really beginning to calm down.

Mindful breathing is a major meditative practice of many spiritual traditions and has a number of benefits. In the beginning, sit for 10-15 minutes every morning and/or night and simply stop what you’re doing for 30-60 seconds every hour or two during your day to practice mindfulness of breath (you don’t have to sit to do this) and you’ll gradually begin to develop both your ability and establish mindfulness as a habit. Do this for at least 2-3 weeks before trying anything else.

After that, you can move on to mindful walking, eating, and many other nourishing practices. But continue to practice formal sitting meditation in the morning and/or night and mindful breathing throughout your day. These are great beginner practices and they’ll remain cornerstones of your mindfulness practice even as your skill improves.

The reason these are great beginner practices is because they don’t require a high level of skill. Walking meditation (or mindful walking) is an example of moving meditation, but it’s typically done in a slow manner to where it’s easy for a beginner to do. I’d still suggest sticking to mindful breathing for the first few weeks though before trying to practice walking meditation at all.

Don’t rush the process of developing mindfulness. You’ll gain nothing from doing so and only end up hurting your practice.

3. Sit often

Sitting meditation really is the cornerstone of all meditative practice. It was my first experience with mindfulness and I’d suggest it be your first experience with meditation as well. Adopting a daily practice of sitting meditation is very important.

There are various forms of meditation, and sitting meditation in particular, but because this post is centered on mindfulness practice what we’re talking about here is essentially mindful breathing while sitting in a quiet and distraction-free zone.

If you try to start practicing mindfulness without making sitting meditation a part of your daily practice then it will be much more difficult to get to a point where your mind becomes quiet. And later, sitting meditation will aid in your efforts to obtain a clear mind.

No matter how far a Zen monk, Yogi, or sage goes in their practice, they always sit and often twice a day (for 1-2 hours). Think of sitting meditation as your “practice” time to keep you sharp.

Every great athlete practices the fundamentals of their craft on a daily basis. No matter how good they become, they practice the fundamentals. For spiritual practice, this is sitting meditation.

4. Go easy on yourself

I've talked previously about the nonjudgmental aspect of mindfulness. Mindfulness is an open acceptance of everything, so those thoughts, feelings, and sensations that keep popping into your mind shouldn’t be labeled a bad thing. In fact, they aren’t a good thing or a bad thing.

Remember, mindfulness is just an observer. You shouldn’t be passing judgment, good or bad, on anything including disruptions to your concentration.

These distractions are normal. They’ll subside naturally, your mind will quiet over time, and it will bring you a great sense of peace. Don’t worry about that. You’ll know you’re practice is really successful not when these distractions subside but when you start becoming mindful of these distractions. No matter how many of them you have.

Don’t get frustrated if, at first, you can’t hold your concentration for more than a few seconds. This is perfectly normal. If you get frustrated just acknowledge the frustration in mindfulness and let it go. Know that these distractions will subside with practice and that your goal is primarily to develop your mindfulness.

When you develop the ability to shine the light of mindfulness on these distractions is when the real healing can begin. These disruptions are the things distorting your perception and keeping you from reality as it is, filled with peace, joy, and freedom. No matter what, just keep practicing. With time, you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

5. Prioritize mindfulness

You won’t get far in your practice of mindfulness if you don’t prioritize it. This goes for anything in life. This is because right from the beginning you’ll be clashing with old habits.

The more often we do something the more energy or “pull” it has. This is our habit energy. We all have this habit energy. What differs from one person to another is where we place this energy.

When you begin practicing mindfulness you’ll naturally be “pulled” in other directions constantly. This is your old habit energy attempting to pull you back to your old ways.

You can use the other mindfulness tips in this post, such as making sure to enjoy the process and to pick simple objects of mindfulness, but you’ll still need to prioritize your practice. This means, as with establishing any other new habit, you’ll have to fight with your old and likely less productive or positive ways.

But remember how energy works, the more time and effort you place into something the more pull it will have. Stick with it and gradually it will become easier until the point in which it takes almost no effort at all.

And the great thing about mindfulness is that you can do it while doing just about anything else. So it’s not so much choosing mindfulness over other things, it’s more of remembering to be mindful. At first, though, remember to keep it simple and choose simple objects of mindfulness.

6. Slow it down

We’re taught to move quickly, multitask, and ultimately be as productive as possible. This mentality is ingrained in us. It probably started during the industrial revolution, where we as a species became obsessed with speed and productivity. It was all about who could grow the fastest and claim the most land.

It was inevitable based on our development as a species, but this mindset has stayed with us to the present day and it’s completely against our true nature.

We’re so used to rushing around all day that a lot of times we never even realize there’s another way to live. We think that it’s “just how life is”. But it’s not. And of course, part of the point of mindfulness and meditation is to calm the mind.

But this job should be handled on both sides. While developing your practice of mindfulness you should also work to become aware of when you’re rushing around and when you’re not. And aside from helping to calm your mind, if you actively work on slowing down you’ll also find more opportunities to practice mindfulness. Due to this, it’s highly beneficial to analyze your daily schedule. You’ll find that opportunities to practice mindfulness are abundant in our daily lives.

Walking from point A to point B, sitting in a waiting room, driving to and from work, and just stopping for a moment to follow your breath anywhere and at any time. Slow it down and really start taking the time to enjoy the little moments with mindfulness.

7. Be patient

Mindfulness takes time and patience to develop. At first, it will be subtle. Unicorns won’t start flying through the air and celebration banners won’t drop from the sky. You’ll just feel….a little more alive. A little more present. That’s the best way I can describe it.

But with practice, you’ll notice your ability improve. You’ll feel more present and more alive. Of course, you’ll need to have some indicator that you’re practicing correctly.

The best advice I can give to make sure that you’re practicing correctly is to practice mindful breathing and sitting meditation often. These are the easiest ways to practice mindfulness and the method of mindful breathing, which you’ll do during both of those exercises, is the easiest way to tell when you lose your mindfulness.

Remember, mindfulness works like a muscle. The more you work it out, the stronger it gets. Make mindfulness a way of life so as to develop it into a powerful force for peace and happiness in your life.

8. Let go

When you begin your mindfulness practice (or if you have already) you’ll probably find it extraordinarily difficult not to become distracted. We covered this earlier, so it shouldn’t be of any surprise.

But something else will likely happen. You’ll have a hard time convincing yourself to let go of these distractions. Why is that? Well, we tend to blow everything in our mind out of proportion.

What that means is when we have a project due at school, a presentation at work, a big event with the family, or some personal business, we tend to mull over them in our heads repeatedly. “Did I remember to do that?” “Did I have them add that?” “What am I going to do about that?” “How is that going to work?” It’s an endless cycle of questions and answers.

When you begin your mindfulness practice you might have a very hard time convincing yourself to let go of these thoughts for even 10 minutes to sit down and meditate. But it’s so important.

You might think that you need to keep these things cycling through your brain constantly, otherwise, you’ll screw something up or just not do as good a job as you could or should, but that’s not the case. You only minimize your effectiveness in any given task by hounding over it and never giving your mind any rest.

You’d be surprised how refreshed and sharp your mind will be if you allow yourself to step away from something for even a single session of mindful breathing or walking meditation. So learn how to let go of these things and just follow your breath. Let go of everything. The more you practice the easier it will be to do this and the better you’ll feel.

9. Have fun

You’ve probably heard this one a million times before about a million other things, but that’s because it’s true. It’s not just true. It’s one of the most important points on this list. Why? Because when we enjoy something our drive to do that thing increases tenfold. Luckily, for the most part, this will come naturally when practicing mindfulness.

By the very act of practicing mindfulness, your monkey mind will begin to settle and you’ll feel an extraordinary sense of tranquility. When I first began my mindfulness practice I felt an amazing sense of peace that seemed to extend throughout the rest of my day. It was rough at first, I can’t say that it wasn’t difficult.

Your mind will likely be bouncing around uncontrollably for the first a couple of weeks, you’ll be pretty fidgety, and if you use a timer during sitting meditation you’ll find thoughts like “I wonder how much longer I have to go?” popping up regularly. But even so, you’ll find yourself feeling great after finishing a session. Even if it was just a few minutes long.

During this time, you really just have to push through the difficulty. But I don’t mean literally push or be forceful. I mean don't give up, keep chugging along. Just be mindful of whatever it is you’re being mindful of, in the beginning, this will be mostly your breath, and as thoughts arise gently acknowledge them and bring your concentration back to your breath.

This tough period won’t last long. Plus, you’ll still get a lot of joy from practicing during this time as well. Take the time to notice how mindfulness is affecting your mood and behavior. If you take the time to do this you’ll deepen your appreciation of your practice further and find even more drive to continue practicing.

But the real joy is in once your mind has begun to settle and you can just sit with little interruptions. When you can sit, stop, or walk and be mindful without feeling like you want to get up or like you have something you need to get to, you’ll know you’ve reached a real milestone.

I can’t describe this feeling to you. You just have to feel it for yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful feelings you’ll ever feel in your life. In those moments everything is perfect just as it is and you feel like you could sit forever.

10. Don't accept the excuses you give yourself as to why mindfulness isn't for you. If you can't sit still, you need mindfulness the most.

Those who have the most difficulty sitting still are the ones who need mindfulness the most. If you’re constantly moving to the point where you can’t imagine yourself sitting still for more than a few minutes at a time then your mind is very, very busy. And the busier your mind, the more stressed and anxious it is as well.

Don't convince yourself that you can't practice mindfulness, especially mindful sitting/sitting meditation, because you have a hard time sitting. You need mindfulness the most.

If you do the work and just learn how to stop and follow your breath from time to time you’ll completely transform how you feel on a day to day basis. Those with the most difficulty sitting are typically the ones who end up appreciating the practice the most because they got the most meaning from it.

We often have to learn from experience in order to really appreciate something. If you experienced a chaotic mind then you’ll truly appreciate what your mind is like once you’ve found even a sliver of the peace you can feel from adopting the practice of mindfulness in your daily life.

Additional Resources

Interested in learning more about mindfulness or meditation in general? Here are a few posts to get you started:

  1. What is Mindfulness? A Guide to Mindfulness Meditation
  2. How to Practice Mindfulness: The Quick and Easy Guide to Learning Mindfulness Meditation
  3. The Mindfulness Survival Guide: 10 Powerful Mindfulness Techniques for Overcoming Life’s Challenges and Living Mindfully
  4. 6 Great Ways to Implement Mindfulness in the Workplace
  5. 50 Awesome Meditation Tips for Beginners


This post is adapted from my book, The Little Book of Mindfulness. It covers everything you need to know about mindfulness from A to Z. You can get it free by entering your name and email below:

How to Practice Mindfulness: The Quick and Easy Guide to Learning Mindfulness Meditation


What if you’re not interested in the “what” and the “why” and just want to know how to practice mindfulness meditation? The cool thing is, you don’t need to know anything else to practice mindfulness.

The what and the why are valuable and worth learning about, but mindfulness practice is a deeply personal experience and something you can only truly understand having practiced for yourself.

Well, I’ve got good news. If you want to know how to practice mindfulness in simple, clear, and straightforward language with no extra fluff- this is the only guide you need.

And if you want to learn more and really delve deeper into the practice? I’ll provide a whole suite of guides, resources, and guided meditations which you can utilize, all for free, at the end of this post as well.

How to Practice Mindfulness of Breath

Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something, so the instructions below will be on the most basic and fundamental of mindfulness practices: mindful breathing.

In the practice of mindfulness, you're very lightly and loosely concentrating on something while being mindful of everything which arises within your field of awareness (think: being clearly aware in an open and all-inclusive way).

Of course, that sounds nice, but the practice rarely looks so pretty in the beginning. It really looks like this:

Focused on the breath → 3 seconds later, lose concentration → "wake up" 2 minutes later ("what the heck happened?", return to the breath → 3 seconds later, lose concentration → wake up 1 minute later, return to the breath

Just know this is perfectly normal and that, with time, your mind will begin to quiet and become quite clear.

How to practice mindfulness: Mindful breathing

Mindful breathing can be done as a form of sitting meditation or just standing in your home, office, or outside in nature and for even a few seconds.

There are really no restrictions to the practice, but it's most often done as a form of sitting meditation for at least a few minutes at a time. That's how I suggest you do your first few mindfulness practice sessions.

Start by finding a quiet place, somewhere with the least possible distractions. Nowhere will be perfect, just find a decent spot.

Next, find a comfortable sitting position. To keep it simple, for now just sit on the floor in a cross-legged position or in a chair. Straighten your back and neck, place your hand in your lap, and look down 3-4 feet in front of you.

Now, either close your eyes or let your eyelids naturally fall so that they remain about 1/2 open. Keep in mind that eyes closed can make you more likely to fall asleep while meditating (a common problem), while eyes half-open may feel odd at first and distract you. For now, either is fine.

Then, follow these 4 simple steps to practice mindful breathing:

1. Become aware of your breath

Simply turn your attention to your breathing. Follow each in-breath and out-breath from beginning to end. Place a firm but soft focus on the breath.

Do not attempt to control your breath, simply observe it silently. Your silent observation will slowly begin to calm your breathing naturally. This may be easier said than done in the beginning but make your best effort.

2. Count each in-breath and out-breath

Inhale…one. Exhale….two. Count to 10 like this. If a thought distracts you, start the 10 count over from 1. When you get to 10, start over and attempt to count to 10 again. If you never do, don't worry,

Do this for as many weeks or months as it takes until you can count to 10 with little to no effort. Then count each inhale + exhale as one. Then, when that becomes easy, stop counting and simply follow your breath. Don’t rush this step, progress slowly.

3. Acknowledge thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arise

Understand in advance that various thoughts, feelings, and sensations will arise while being mindful and make you lose your concentration on the breath.

In the beginning, you'll likely be interrupted constantly and feel like you're doing something wrong. You're not and it really is that difficult for everyone, in the beginning, to stay concentrated on the breath.

4. Return to being mindful of the breath

This will be difficult at first, you’ll lose focus on your breath constantly. Stay focused, after a while your mind will begin to grow quieter.

That's it! That's all there is to it. The practice of mindfulness, in this case specifically mindful breathing, is simple and straightforward.

Just keep in mind that while the practice won't necessarily feel easy in the beginning, it will get better typically in a very short period of time (in a few weeks you should start noticing a calmer and quieter mind).

A Few Important Tips

Here are a few tips for getting off on the right foot:

  • In the beginning, it's about making meditation a daily habit. That means don't worry about how long you're practicing for. Practice mindful breathing for 1-3 minutes for the first 1, 2, even 3 weeks. Really, in the beginning, nothing more is necessary and even with that you'll notice a big difference in how you feel. After a while, you'll feel gradually able to sit down for longer and longer periods.
  • Practice x2 a day. To further develop your mindfulness meditation practice into a strong daily practice, sit twice a day (preferably morning + afternoon or night). Remember, you're meditating for just 1-3 minutes so there should be no reason you can't do it.
  • Your mind will feel like a jungle. Don't sweat it. I said this earlier, but I feel it's important enough to mention again. People often feel like they're doing something wrong, or like something's wrong with them. Nothing is wrong at all. It's perfectly natural to feel like you're jumping out of your skin, unable to focus on one point for more than even 3 seconds. This will quickly begin to change if you stick to a consistent daily practice.
  • Be gentle with yourself throughout the process. Don't go into mindfulness meditation thinking that it's easy. It often isn't. In the beginning, you're likely to not be able to notice clearly what is arising. You'll just know you've lost your mindfulness. At best, you'll know you were thinking about "something" but not know exactly what. But there is the possibility that some uncomfortable thoughts and feelings can arise while meditating. Be kind to yourself and know that whatever happens is totally natural and not a sign of any personal shortcoming.

Additional Resources

Whether you're interested in learning to develop a daily meditation practice or bringing the practice of mindfulness into your everyday life, I've got you covered:

Creating a home meditation practice:

  1. How to Meditate for Beginners
  2. ZfEL Ep. 8: How to Create a Home Meditation Practice
  3. 5 Steps to Making Meditation a Daily Habit
  4. 5 Tools to Help You Start Your Home Meditation Practice
  5. How to Create a Zen Space: Finding Peace by Creating a Personal Space That Nourishes Your Mind and Bod

Bringing mindfulness into your everyday life:

  1. ZfEL Ep. 6: How to Make Mindfulness a Way of Life: 7 Keys to Living a More Mindful Life
  2. How to Create a Mindful Morning Routine
  3. ZfEL Ep. 4: How to Design a Nightly Ritual that Nourishes and Brings Rest to the Mind and Body (Plus Mindfulness of Body Guided Meditation)
  4. 7 Ways to Live More Mindfully in the Busy, Fast-Paced, and Plugged In Modern World
  5. 5 Powerful Ways Mindful Eating Will Transform Your Relationship With Foo

Free guided meditations:

If you're really interested in learning how to practice mindfulness, text instruction isn't complete without an accompanying guided meditation. Luckily, I've got you covered there too:

Free Guided Meditations for Greater Peace and Clarity

Keep in mind that the above list is constantly growing. Each week I future a new guided meditation on the Zen for Everyday Life podcast. You can listen to the podcast on the blog here or on iTunes here.

No matter what brought you to the practice of mindfulness, I hope you discover the beauty of the practice and that it helps do for you what it did for me so many years ago.