A question I get asked a lot is "how can I cultivate mindfulness in my life?' There are many ways of doing this. When people are new to the idea and want to introduce it into their lives, then small periods of mindfulness meditation can be a great starting point. There are lots of great apps, like Smiling Mind and Headspace that can guide you through a 10 or 30 daysmindfulness meditation challenge, which can help you become acquainted with the process. The advantage of beginning with a more formal practice, such as meditation, is that it offers you a structured opportunity to practice what can be a tricky and unfamiliar process. Maintaining present moment awareness without judgment is an unfamiliar process that often brings up a degree of discomfort, especially initially. Taking time out from your day, free from other demands or commitments, can offer you the space to get acquainted with the process. Meditation is not the only way practice mindfulness or to weave it into your life. Any activity can be used as an opportunity to stay connected and engaged with the present moment. Some popular activities where people practice mindfulness include eating, walking and cleaning. These fairly simple day to day tasks are often times when our attention drifts, and therefore can be a great opportunity to practice mindful presence. These activities are also very sensory – so you can use taste, touch, smell, sight and sound as anchor points to focus your attention back to when your mind wanders.
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