Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of media coverage on the benefits of practicing mindfulness. As described in the media, there are many wonderful benefits to developing a practice or a more mindful life, but how does someone get started?
These three simple steps could offer yourself and your family the ability to experience true mindfulness throughout each day.
Step One: Make Time Daily to Practice Mindfulness
A daily practice doesn’t need to be an elaborate sit, but just a quiet, undisturbed sit for 5-10 minutes. Within this time, the gifts you will discover will be well worth your time and effort and even something you may look forward to doing on a daily basis. One resource that I’ve found ver helpful is the “Stop, Breathe and Think” App. This app is free, family friendly and available on iTunes. It also contains an interface to track how your body is feeling, choose your time limit and what type of mindfulness you’d like to practice. Some mindfulness practice choices are: “Mindful Breathing”, “Gratitude”, “Kindness” or even just a simple mindfulness practice with or without words.
Step Two: Begin to Notice Your Life More
Just the practice of mindfulness will transform your level of noticing, but for an added bonus try and practice this kind of awareness more intentionally. One of my favorite ways to “notice” more intentionally is through practicing “Mindful Listening”. Mindful Listening is when you offer yourself a quiet and calm body and then just notice the sounds around you. Not only is this a meaningful practice to practice for yourself, but also a wonderful practice to offer your children. For example, the other night when it was raining really hard, my family and I practiced mindful listening at dinner. I opened the back door to our house and we all sat quietly for a couple minutes and just listened to the sound of the rain as it hit the roof of our house. It was like a mini vacation for all of us and later there seemed to be a calm and more appreciative closeness within our family system.
Step Three: Honor Your Body, Mind and Spirit
One of the greatest gifts, you will learn from practicing mindfulness is that you will become better acquainted with your body, mind and spirit. The more knowledgeable you are about how your mind and body works, the better you are able to care for yourself and those you love. One of my favorite resources for this kind of information is The Greater Good Science Center. The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. By honoring your body, mind and spirit through this kind of education and practice, you’ll be on your way towards an even happier healthy life.