Mindfulness – Just do it! Part Three

Everyday Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of learning how to relate directly to your life. Because it’s about your life, no one else can do it for you or tell you exactly how to do it. Fortunately, it isn’t something you have to get or acquire. You already have it within you; it’s simply a matter of being present. In fact, in the very moment you recognize you aren’t present, you’ve become present. The moment you see that you’ve been trapped by your thoughts, you gain the freedom to step out of the trap.

Mindfulness is a way of life that can be practiced in two ways: formally and informally. Formal practice means taking time out each day to intentionally sit, stand, or lie down and focus on the breath, bodily sensations, sounds, other senses, or thoughts and emotions. Informal practice involves bringing mindful awareness to daily activities, such as eating, exercising, chores, relating to others, and basically any action, whether at work, at home, or anywhere else you find yourself.

In Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs, there’s a saying “Take one day at a time.” Mindfulness goes further, inviting you to take one moment at a time. Since we really live only in the present moment, why not be there for each moment? You can miss so much if you’re consumed with anticipation of the future or rumination about the past. And as you become more mindful of your inner state—your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and mental processes—you’ll start to sleep better, be more able to cope with stressful situations, improve your self-esteem, renew your enthusiasm for life and work, and generally just feel better.



An ounce of practice is better than a ton of theories, so why not do some practice? Pick some task that you normally do on a daily basis, like brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, and try to keep your attention on the task as you do it, bringing all of your senses to the experience. If you’re brushing your teeth, remind yourself that you’re brushing your teeth, feel and listen to the bristles of the toothbrush against your teeth and gums, and smell and taste the toothpaste in your mouth. If you’re washing the dishes, know that you’re washing the dishes and take in the feel and sound of the water, the smell of the soap, and visual details you might normally gloss over, such as the iridescence of the bubbles. Try it out and see what you notice.

The information in this post is directly provided from the Workbook- “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook By Bob Stahl, PH.D and Elisha Goldstein, PH.D

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