The Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness

Chapter 4: Getting Started With Mindfulness

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Nothing Beats a Regular Practice

Every moment of every day is an opportunity to be mindful.

The hardest part is remembering to do it. 🙂

Just like daily washing helps keep your body clean, or regular exercise keeps you strong and mobile, training your mind requires consistent practice.

Whatever practice you choose to get started, stay committed to a regular schedule. Building a new habit isn't easy. But you know the benefits of mindfulness, so it's worth the effort and discipline.

What are my Options for Practicing Mindfulness?

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society created a graphic to organize a number of mindful practices in a helpful way.

The Tree of Contemplative Practices illustrates a few main points about mindfulness.

The roots represent two elements of life that these practices cultivate:

  • Greater awareness
  • A sense of connection/communion with life itself

The branches organize these practices into different categories based on the nature of the activity.

3 Popular Mindful Practices

As the tree above illustrates, there are many ways to stay practice mindfulness in your daily life.

Instead of dissecting them all, this guide focuses on three of the most common mindful practices. Each practice builds your awareness in a different way.

Meditation is a stillness practice that builds greater overall awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.

Yoga is a movement practice that builds greater physical awareness (proprioception), while providing additional benefits of strength and flexibility.

Writing/journaling is a creative practice that builds awareness of your thoughts, emotions, values, and ideas.

A Quick Note on Getting Started

There is no "right" way to practice mindfulness. Everyone's practice looks different, and will change over time.

Start with what interests you. But don’t rule anything out until you’ve given it a fair shot!

My own mindfulness journey started through a physical practice: weekly yoga. As I came to understand the benefits of my yoga practice, I sought other forms of mindfulness. I started meditating, and journaling more frequently. These days I meditate and journal daily, and do yoga 1-2x/week.

Keep Reading About these Popular Mindfulness Practices

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