Evoking calm: Practicing mindfulness in daily life helps

It’s easy to say you simply don’t have time to be mindful. With so much going on in daily life, who has time to stop and be present? But everyone has at least 10 minutes to spare to practice mindfulness.
The point of these brief, daily reflections is to help you tap into calmness whenever life gets too hairy. Practicing everyday mindfulness can also improve your memory and concentration skills and help you feel less distracted and better able to manage crises like dealing with the pandemic.
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness. Still, any mindfulness technique aims to achieve a state of alert, focused, relaxed consciousness by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without passing judgment on them. This allows the mind to focus on the present moment with an attitude of acceptance.

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Three easy mindfulness exercises to try

Here are three simple exercises you can try whenever you need a mental break, emotional lift, or just want to pause and appreciate everything around you. Devote 10 minutes a day to them and see how the experience changes your outlook. It’s time well spent.

Simple meditation

A quick and easy meditation is an excellent place to begin practicing mindfulness.

  • Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor.
  • Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
  • Once you've narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas. Embrace and consider each without judgment.
  • If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.
  • Take as much time as you like: one minute, or five, or 10 — whatever you're comfortable with. Experts in mindfulness meditation note that the practice is most helpful if you commit to a regular meditation schedule.