Mindful

In the midst of our busy lives, awareness can serve as an anchor, allowing you to get out of your head and into the present moment. But it can be difficult to find time to pause and acknowledge how your environment and your actions impact your overall well-being.

The good news is that awareness is a skill you can practice and strengthen over time. This two-minute mindfulness practice can be done wherever you are, so you can break out of autopilot and notice how your mind and body feel throughout the day.

Explore this three-step practice for cultivating mindful awareness:

1) Brief body scan

Start off by taking a single, deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. You are welcome to gently close your eyes, or keep them open. Notice your body where it is: the positioning of your body, and also how your body is feeling. If you’re feeling any tension anywhere, see if you can allow that to soften, or adjust your body as needed.

2) Tune in to your environment

Begin to allow your awareness to wander a little bit. Notice the sounds inside your environment or outside your environment. Be aware of how sounds have a nature of disappearing and reappearing, and also how your mind comes up with different comments or images on these sounds, or on your experience. Allow for all of this.

3) Notice thoughts and emotions

Now begin to gently open your eyes, noticing how there’s also visuals in your environment. Notice how you feel. Take stock of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is hosting an online course to help people fully integrate mindfulness into their lives in a deep way in order to realize more enduring change. The in-depth 6-month online course called A Course in Mindful Living runs in October 2018—the waitlist is now open.

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Elisha Goldstein

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and conducts a private practice in West Los Angeles. He is creator of the 6-month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Atria Books, 2015), The Now Effect (Atria Books, 2012), Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler (Atria Books, 2013), and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger, 2010).

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