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5 Tips to Include Mindfulness in Your Everyday Life

Mindfulness Coach
Screenshot of the Mindfulness Coach app, created by DCoE's National Center for Telehealth and Technology in partnership with the National Center for PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs

During the past few months on the DCoE Blog we’ve explored the benefits of mindfulness meditation and shared steps on how to practice, but it can be a whole new challenge to implement the practice into daily life. Work, duty, deployment, kid’s soccer practice, medical appointments, family time, relationships, exercise, and sleep — it seems our lives keep getting fuller. Even so, it’s possible to fit in a brief mindfulness session that could keep us from feeling overwhelmed by the rest of our lives. Check out the strategies below:

  1. Start small: Start with five minutes and gradually increase the length of time as you feel more comfortable.
  2. Download an app: You don’t have to practice alone. Many find a guided mindfulness meditation practice helpful. Mindfulness Coach, a mobile app created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology and the Department of Veterans Affairs, is free and offers meditation tips to bring with you on the go.
  3. Create a routine: Ever heard the saying, “We’re creatures of habit?” Add mindfulness to your daily routine, whether it’s upon waking in the morning or with your door closed in your office during your lunch break. Routines can help foster a regular habit. Developing a schedule is especially beneficial for those with psychological health and traumatic brain injury concerns.
  4. Set a reminder: Set an alarm on your phone or an appointment in your calendar to remind you to practice. Mindfulness Coach also features reminders to practice mindfulness.
  5. Leave judgment at the door: There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. The most important thing is to show up with the intention of having a mindfulness practice. If thoughts arise, label them as thoughts and let them float by. Some days practice will come easy, others it will seem difficult to sit still.

Share with us what helps you practice a mindfulness meditation routine by commenting below or sharing on the DCoE page on Facebook. You can also follow our boards on Pinterest to learn more about the benefits to meditating with helpful infographics.

Comments (4)

  • iTunes?
    How about Android?
  • Another way to become more aware of your thoughts, as well as increase your ability to focus and concentrate, is mantram repetition. More commonly called a "mantra" -- a "mantram" is a sacred, spiritually-meaningful word or phrase to be repeated anytime, anywhere (like focusing on the breath). To do so raises awareness of the chatter in your mind and gives you something else to focus on. For some people, having a word or phrase to concentrate on feels more "concrete" than one's breath or moment-to-moment experiences. For example, Mahatma Gandhi repeated "Rama" which is an invocation to eternal joy within which provides a spiritual component to one's mindfulness practice.
  • Thank you for sharing this tip.
  • Thank you for your feedback. At this time, there is no plan to develop this app for Android users. However, we will share your concern with the T2 development team. Please consider checking out some of their other apps that do feature an option for Android users, you can view the entire list of T2 apps at http://t2health.dcoe.mil/products/mobile-apps.

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017.