How to Improve Mindfulness
Heidi Zwart
how to improve mindfulness

Life is busy. In the midst of our daily lives, we often miss the world around us. We miss moments to relax, observe, and connect with the people and things that mean the most to us. We can change this when we can learn how to improve mindfulness as we go about our day.  

Focus on your breathing

When you pay attention to the unconscious rhythm of your breath, you bring everything into greater focus. You become more aware of yourself and the world around you. The pace of your breathing is often a reflection of how you’re feeling, whether you’re relaxed or stressed. Bringing attention back to this basic life function brings you back to the simple awareness of life itself, which is an important lesson for how to improve mindfulness with a single breath.  

Eat without distraction

Many of us race through our meals or eat on the go. We use our lunch hour to eat and work without stopping to pause to enjoy the food before us. Creating a habit of eating without scrolling, working, or driving is a good way to improve mindfulness. An additional benefit of this practice is that your food choices may change when you begin to experience the taste, texture, and quality of the food you’re eating more acutely. Plus, you notice how your body and mind respond to your choices.

Get outside

When you step outside, you experience the awe of the world around you. According to research, the experience of awe boosts happiness, generosity, compassion, and connection. As you begin to learn how to improve mindfulness in nature, you can sit and be still or you can take a slow walk while noticing your surroundings. Take in the scents, observe the sounds, notice the movements and the shapes. This attentiveness to nature grounds and connects you to all creation. 

Slow down

Create space in your day for slow. Rather than racing to the front of the line or seeing how many things you can check off your to-do list, let others go before you and build intentional breaks into your day. Spend time eating your meals and enjoy a leisurely conversation with family or friends. Swap a high intensity workout for a yoga class. Learning how to improve mindfulness in your day means slowing your pace to reduce hurry. 

Turn down the volume

Learning to embrace silence takes practice. Start by turning off the music in your car while you’re driving or while working. Spend a few minutes each morning praying or meditating before diving into your work day. Appreciating everyday moments of silence helps you notice the noise that keeps you distracted and inattentive. You are likely to seek peaceful settings more often as you begin to appreciate the silence. 

While you learn how to improve mindfulness in your daily life, be patient with yourself! Slowing down the pace of life takes time and practice. Choose one of the five suggestions above and start small. Over time, you will begin to experience greater mindfulness each day. 

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