A daily mindfulness practice is the best gift you can give yourself in the new year.
Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment with a curious, flexible attitude. Mindfulness is something we practice formally (through meditation) and informally (during our everyday lives).
Regular formal mindfulness practice – also called mindfulness meditation – has been shown to improve focus, enhance sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mental and physical health.
What’s more, committing to a formal mindfulness meditation practice often translates to improved informal mindfulness – better focus on solving a difficult problem at work, enjoying the walk to your car without getting lost in your phone, and paying full attention to your loved ones during conversation.
Invest in your productivity and quality of life by following these tips for making mindfulness meditation a part of your daily routine.
Practice Daily: Practicing mindfulness meditation regularly for short periods of time is more powerful than occasional long practices. From a neuroscience perspective, the habit formation is most important. Once you commit to a daily practice (of even 2-5 minutes!) you can expand the length of time as you feel comfortable.
Meditate At The Same Time: Select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. Daily meditation can become a subconscious habit like bathing or toothbrushing, bringing a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind.
Meditate In The Same Place: Use a designated area for practice. Having a dedicated meditation space will prime your mind for meditation when you sit down, and you will also be reminded of your practice commitment whenever you walk past your designated meditation space.
Bundle Your Healthy Habits: Bundle your meditation practice with an existing habit like drinking coffee, reading or sitting with your pet. From a neuroscience perspective, bundling a new habit with an existing habit makes it “stickier.”
Share Your Practice: Tell your partner, friends and family about your practice and how your practice will benefit them. Sharing your practice will deepen your commitment to practice and inspire others to support you.
Find A Buddy: Connect with a mindfulness accountability buddy. You can check in daily or weekly to share insights from your practice.
Practice In Community: Meditating in a group can be extremely powerful. To solidify and inspire your practice, make a weekly or monthly commitment to practice mindfulness in a group setting. Check the internet for local meditation studios or meetups.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dorsey Standish is the Chief Mindfulness Officer at Mastermind Meditate in Dallas. Her mindfulness practice has helped her succeed at a Fortune 500 tech company, overcome mental illness, and ultimately connect more deeply with those around her. Dorsey’s teachings combine neuroscience research with her experiences in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program and multiple weekend, 7-day and 10-day silent meditation retreats. Join Dorsey for one of Mastermind’s upcoming applied mindfulness trainings at mastermindmeditate.com/programs.