How to integrate mindfulness into your life

Mindfulness is the practice of gently focusing your awareness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of gently focusing your awareness on the present moment without interpretation or judgment. It often involves focusing on sensations to root yourself in your body in the here and now. It can be practiced during formal meditation or during everyday activities, like cooking, cleaning, or walking.

It’s the nature of the mind to think, analyze, and figure things out that’s its job. That means that left to its own devices, the mind will constantly seek out new stimuli, new things to think about, and new ways to check out from reality.

Mindfulness practice is a way to gently retrain the mind to settle into the present moment. By practicing mindfulness with patience and compassion for yourself, you can teach the mind to be still and increase mental resilience.

Research suggests that obtaining a mindful brain can lead to a happier and more productive life. There are many different techniques to train mindfulness, which we will discuss further.  First, let’s look at the benefits of mindfulness.

The benefits of mindfulness have been well-documented in research. In recent years, mindfulness has been integrated into modern Western therapies for treating a broad range of psychological and physiological conditions. It is thought that the benefits of mindfulness come from its ability to help us “dial down the body’s response to stress”. 

 The benefits are many and can include:

  • improving cognitive ability
  • slowing brain aging
  • reducing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms
  • increasing a sense of well-being
  • helping with pain management
  • improving quality of life for those living with chronic conditions


Mindfulness practice: How to do it

Mindfulness is very broad and the ways to practice are almost limitless. You can practice mindfulness through more formal meditation, breathwork, and body scanning or you can simply practice mindfulness during daily tasks, such as mindful eating, mindful walking, mindful commuting, mindful coloring, or doodling. 

One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness is through breathwork. No matter what you’re doing, you can practice placing your attention on your breath. Whether you’re making the bed, relaxing on the couch, or walking the dog, nearly every moment is an opportunity to become more present. Let’s try it:

  • Start by becoming aware of the sensation of your breath. Feel the rise and fall of the belly and chest. Feel the breath moving in and out of your nostrils. Notice how it’s cool on the inhale and warm on the exhale. Become aware of your ribcage and stomach muscles, expanding as you inhale, and relaxing as you exhale. 
  • Allow yourself to let go of any thoughts and emotions. You might notice that your mind has wandered or you’ve gotten distracted by something going on around you. Simply bring your attention back to the breath without judging yourself or “rating” your performance. There is no objective other than being with your breath.
  • You can practice for a set amount of time in a relaxed position, or you can practice throughout your day while performing daily tasks.


No matter what methods you use, it’s important to find ways to integrate your mindfulness practice into your life in ways that are meaningful and enjoyable to you. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Five minutes a day is all you need to reap the many benefits. Know that you can always come back to mindfulness practice when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or fearful. It can be used to create calm and transform one’s mindset to positivity, acceptance, and gratitude.