Exercise 3. Mindfulness Meditation
There are lots of ways to engage in mindfulness meditation, and you can find good mindfulness exercises on the internet, or in apps for your phone. We’ve recorded one mindfulness exercise here in this app, but it is by no means the only way to practice mindfulness.
The basic principle of mindfulness is to pay attention to the current moment, often through paying attention to the breath (after all, breath happens in the current moment, is an accessible thing to attend to, and requires no extra equipment!) but there are lots of other ways to be mindful. Consider:
- Washing the dishes mindfully
- Walking mindfully
- Listening to music mindfully
- Eating mindfully
When you find your mind wandering away from your breath, or the dishes, or walking or whatever you are doing, try to get in the habit of bringing your mind back again. And, if your mind wanders a hundred times, bring it back a hundred times.
The important thing to understand about mindfulness meditation is that it is simple, but it is not easy, and takes lots of practice to get proficient at, so don’t berate yourself if you’re not “good” at this right away. However, there are benefits to sticking to it! Various studies have shown that a regular practice of mindfulness meditation can decrease stress, reduce vulnerability to depression, improve concentration and attention, and even improve sleep.