11 Simple Daily Mindfulness Practices

Zindel Segal offers 11 ways to slow down and increase focus throughout the day so you don't get tripped up by the same old mental ruts.

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By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, from moment to moment, we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and choice; we do not have to go down the same old “mental ruts” that may have caused problems in the past.

The aim of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is to increase awareness so that we can respond to situations with choice rather than react automatically. We do that by practicing to become more aware of where our attention is, and deliberately changing the focus of attention, over and over again.

When you first wake up in the morning: before you get out of bed, bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths. Notice changes in your posture. Be aware of how your body and mind feel when you move from lying down to sitting, to standing, to walking. Notice each time you make a transition from one posture to the next. Use any sound as the bell of mindfulness. Whenever you hear a phone ring, a bird sing, a train pass by, laughter, a car horn, the wind, the sound of a door closing—really listen and be present and awake.…