Getting Started With Mindfulness/Meditation Practice

cultivating mindfulness

We have been talking about mindfulness practice and its range of benefits for the past few months (we just can’t get enough!). If you missed it, mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment. That means no daydreaming, no social media scrolling, no grocery list (in your head) making. It means being there. Really truly, fully there in the moment. 

It means remaining calm in the moment, not overreacting to things happening around us or things we fear in the future or past. Because, if we are fully present, things are simpler. They are as we see them currently, not clouded by a whole host of other concerns. 

We all have this ability inside of us to practice mindfulness, but it can be difficult to get in the habit of doing. Research shows that the more we practice mindfulness/meditation, the more it becomes an engrained part of ourselves. It can actually change the way our brains function for the better. 

So how do you get started?

1.) Make time — It could be any time of the day but as you first get started you need to take a few minutes a day and schedule in your mindful practice. When you schedule your mindful time you force yourself to be aware in that moment. Maybe it is your drive home from work, or a few minutes when you wake up in the morning. Set a reminder on your phone and go with it. 

2.) Observe the moment — Being mindful is not about not thinking, it is simply about looking around and being where you are currently. That could be listening to the bird’s chirp as you walk home, taking in the color of the paint, the feel of your chest going up and down as you breathe, the way your toes move in your shoes, the feel of your coat. Use your senses. 

being mindful

3.) Let judgments pass — There will be times that judgments or worries enter your mind during your mindful/meditation practice, and that is ok. Listen to them, make a mental note, then move on. Let them pass.

4.) Return to the moment as is — When other thoughts enter your brain and you feel your mind start to wander, correct yourself and return to the moment. The key is to not let your mind get carried away. Thoughts are going to happen, don’t let them take over. It is about being in control of your brain. 

5.) Be kind to yourself — As I have said a few times, thoughts are going to happen. Your mind will wander. Be gentle with yourself and calmly bring yourself back. This practice, while part of us, is not easy. We have so much going on in our lives being completely in the moment can be difficult. Give yourself some grace. It will get easier as time goes. 

The psychologists at Wellness Psychological Services are uniquely and expertly specialized in helping you learn to understand and apply mindfulness skills to help enhance your well-being. We welcome the chance to discuss an individualized plan to meet your needs. Contact us for an appointment anytime.  

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