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:
- Start small: Start with five minutes and gradually increase the length of time as you feel more comfortable.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.