Just like everything else in life, it’s not going to be easy. You need to put some work into it so you can see results. But the benefits of a strong mindfulness practice are worth the effort and time you put into it. The following five ways to kickstart your mindfulness practice will get you started on the right foot.
1. Make a decision
You don’t have to meditate if you don’t want to, but if you do want to make a change, then you first have to make a decision. It has to come from within and that is when you need to start practicing self-awareness and build the habit of checking in with yourself often enough to develop this new skill.
2. Start small
Don’t expect to be able to sit for hours at once right away, or even longer than 10 minutes for quite some time after that. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up from there as you gain confidence in your ability to stay focused for shorter periods of time.
3. Find a quiet place
If possible, find somewhere quiet where you can be alone—no TV or music allowed! This is why many people start out sitting in bed with eyes closed and back against the headboard
4. Take time away from technology
Use this time to have a hot bath or read a book without being distracted by mobile devices or laptops. You will feel more relaxed and refreshed afterward. If you find it hard to take time away from technology, start with small chunks of time like 10 minutes when you wake up in the morning. Practice meditation during this time to feel more at peace throughout the day.
5. Be interested in what you’re doing
Whatever it is, take a few moments before you start doing it to notice where you are and what you see around you. Focus on what you can hear, smell, taste or touch right now without judging your experience or comparing it with past experiences or future expectations. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back again without judging yourself.