5 Ways to Be More Mindful, Starting Today!

It's easy to move through our days not being mindful. Perhaps your mind is spinning with concern about a friend or loved one — or if you'll be able to travel this summer. Maybe you pull out your phone to answer a text but an hour later you are checking out hotels in Bali or France. Fortunately, there is good news. We can train our minds to become more mindful. And we can start right away. Here are some tips:


1. Mindful Check-In. 

Once an hour, check in with yourself and bring yourself back to the present moment. Look up and notice a leaf on a tree nearby, or if you're inside enjoy looking even for a moment at a painting on the wall or even the beautiful right angle in a corner of your room! Take a moment to center yourself. Take a breath and smile. There is something beautiful and relaxing about living in the present moment. Enjoy!


2. Feel your body sensations.

Throughout the day it is incredibly grounding to tune into all of the sensations running through your body. Try it now! Do you feel tingles through your fingertips or arms? Do you notice a little bit of pain in your thighs or knees, especially if you're sitting? Our body has sensations throughout the day, and if we open our awareness to them, this also helps us to live in the present rather than ruminating about the past or feeling fear or anxiety about the future.

Walking in the Park


3. Do something fun! 

It may feel like one day is rolling into another. And that we are meant to suffer a bit right now. But that doesn't have to be the case, or at least not all of the time! I suggest doing something fun every day. Yes, even today. Head out to nature, even if it's a small park, and enjoy seeing foliage all around you. Put on an awesome song, even for a minute, and dance or just stop everything and enjoy the healing, positive power of music. Or look at art, in person or even online, even for a moment if that's all the time you have. Life is meant to be enjoyed - make sure to take time to do something you love, every single day.

Group Meditation Setting


4. Send a thoughtful note. 

 It is easy for our minds to wrap around our wants and needs. Try opening your awareness to some of the wonderful people in your life and send a thoughtful, out-of-the-blue text to someone you adore. It can be a friend or teacher or mentor in your life now or an old friend you haven't spoken with in a while. Send something personal to them so they know it's just for them — such as, "I miss you and our love for coconut chocolate chip cookies!" And see what happens. Yes you have done something kind. But you might feel even better than they do! When we take our focus off of ourselves, and do a random act of kindness, we end up becoming the greatest beneficiary. I try to do this twice a day. Play with this and see what feels best for you!

Woman Meditating


5. Meditate.

I find the best way to stay mindful is to start each day with meditation (granted, after a cup or two of espresso). If you don't already have a practice, you can just sit calmly on a chair or couch (I do recommend getting up from bed so you don't fall asleep), close your eyes or look in a soft gaze two or three feet ahead of you—and place your attention on the sensations of the breath, specifically as the breath comes in and out of your nostrils. What do you feel? What do you notice? If your mind wanders, just let that thought float away like a cloud and gently return your focus to the sensations of the breath. You can do this for one minute or twenty or even more, whatever you have time for.

My company The Path runs a meditation teacher training program (taken by Briogeo CEO + Founder, Nancy Twine!) and we have all the students in the class meditate for 25 minutes a day. If you can work up to this you will notice a real change in your life. Rather than living in your thoughts, you will naturally begin to be more mindful throughout the day. And with this, you feel more relaxed, more open and joyous.


About Dina Kaplan: 

Dina Kaplan is founder/CEO of The Path and a certified meditation teacher who leads teacher training programs, retreats and meditations for brands, festivals, companies and conferences around the world. Dina has studied and practiced dozens of techniques including mindfulness, compassion, mantra, Vipassana and more. The Path has taught thousands of people to meditate including at SXSW, Sundance and other festivals and events.

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