Mastering Mindfulness

Four Simple Ways to Pay More Attention to the Current Moment

The Cambridge Dictionary defines mindfulness as “the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm.” It means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings instead of going through life on autopilot. Mindfulness matters because it can help manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It has also been associated with a greater enthusiasm for life and improved self-esteem.

Research shows the average person spends nearly 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing. That means we are spending almost half of our time operating on autopilot. During a busy workday finding time for a 30-minute mindful exercise can feel impossible. But that does not mean you cannot be mindful at work. Mindful exercises can be as short as you want. Even one minute of consciously connecting with one of your senses can be classified as a mindful exercise. You do not even need to close your eyes or be sitting down. Be creative and find short times in your day to add a bit of mindfulness. Think of mindfulness as a muscle. The more you exercise your mindful muscle, the stronger it becomes. Use the four simple strategies below to help you cultivate more mindfulness in your day-to-day life.

Take Some Deep Breaths

Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.

Enjoy a Stroll

As you walk, pay attention to your breath and the sights and sounds around you. If thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return to the present.

Practice Mindful Eating

Be aware of taste, textures, and flavors in each bite. Listen to when your body is hungry and full.

Do a Body Scan

Bring your attention to how each part of your body is feeling. This can help you connect with your body.

More Mindfulness Resources:

Source: Mindfulness for Your Health, National Institutes of Health, June 2021.