7 Tips for More Mindful Living Every Day

by | Aug 10, 2023 | Mindfulness

Self-care and mindfulness seem to be the latest buzzwords these days but what do they actually mean?

We all live busy lives rushing around from one thing to the next and wonder how it could possibly be August already and where has the year gone.

We are living our lives literally on autopilot barely taking a breath between one thing and the next.

We live life in the present moment – the past is done and dusted and the future is not here yet.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan and dream and visualise what we want life to look like, but then we need to live in the present otherwise life just passes us by.

But what can we do to be more mindful on a daily basis?

Sure going on a retreat to getting a massage sounds great – and they are – but it’s not possible to do those things every day.

Here are 7 things you can do every day to be more mindful.

Mental exercises work just like physical ones do.

You create mental “muscles” that help you complete them and do them better as you do them more often.

These mental muscles also wither with lack of use just like physical muscles do.

If you want to be more mindful, you need to do mindfulness exercises regularly to keep these mental muscles in shape.

Mindful meditation exercises are one of the best kinds you can do for this purpose. 

Here are three exercises you can use to keep those mindful muscles “fit.”

How often should you do these exercises?

You should do one or more of them as often as possible but do at least one of them no less than once a week.

Doing at least one of these exercises three times per week is ideal.

If you can do two or three of them several times a week, even better.

Sitting Meditation

Find a quiet, comfortable spot.

Sit on the floor cross-legged if you are able and take several deep breaths to calm your mind and body.

Begin to notice everything that is going on around you and within you.

Notice all the thoughts and physical sensations that flow through your body.

Pay attention to your surroundings.

What do you hear?


Notice everything you can while maintaining your deep breathing.

Do this for 2-5 minutes and then go about your day.

Set a timer to let you know when the time is up.

Body Scanning Meditation

Lay down somewhere quiet.

Take several deep breaths to calm yourself.

Now scan your body slowly, deliberately, from your head to your toes, and notice everything that crosses your mind, every thought, feeling, and sensation.

Pay attention to how parts of your body feel and how they make you feel.

Notice anything that is “off” or bothers you, any spots of tension, and file them away for consideration later.

When you’re done, take a few more deep breaths and get up.

Walking Meditation

This is simply walking mindfully, for 10-20 minutes, while taking many deep breaths.

Notice your thoughts, the sensations that flow through your body, the feel of the ground beneath your feet, and your surroundings. 

If you don’t have a park or sidewalk to do this exercise at, don’t worry; you can also do this mindfulness exercise by pacing back and forth in a set area that’s at least 10m wide.

I mean, of course, you are breathing, but the reality is most of us don’t breathe correctly.

We breathe shallowly from the chest instead of taking deep breaths from the stomach.

Breathing exercises are another practice you can adopt to help you become more mindful.

Breathwork is a real thing and is used all around the world for many different purposes, from meditation to deep-sea diving preparation.

Here are a couple of exercises you can try to improve your mindfulness practice.

There are dozens. If you don’t like these, feel free to look for others.

Mindful Breathing

This is the most basic form of breathing exercise and is often used to train people to be mindful.

It’s also the easiest to do.

Find a comfortable spot to sit or lay down.

It doesn’t need to be any special location; just someplace that’s also quiet.


There’s no need to monitor you’re breathing, no need to breathe deeply or shallowly, and no need to count your breaths.

Just breathe naturally.

Notice your breathing, the physical process of it, how your chest rises and falls, how your stomach feels, etc.

Do this for a minute or two.

That’s all there is to it!

Deep Breathing

This breathing exercise is helpful for mindfulness and a host of other issues, from improving focus to releasing stress and anxiety.

You can do it anywhere too and don’t have to sit or lie down to do so.

Take a deep, strong breath.

Feel your lungs as full as they can go.

Do it slowly and deliberately.

Hold your breath for a moment.

Now exhale.

Repeat several times.

Notice how it feels as you breathe.

You can do this at scheduled times or whenever you feel the need.

Breath Counting

This is a type of breathing exercise that can be easily coupled with either normal or deep breathing.

It adds counting into the mix to help you focus and keep your mind from wandering.

It also helps break you out of thought loops and cycles of stress and negative thinking.

To do this exercise, simply add counting into one of the other two routines.

You can either count to a certain number of breaths or just count until you feel finished or your timer goes off.

All of these exercises are incredibly easy to do and they will all help you become more mindful.

They’ll also relieve stress and anxiety.

That’s a great bonus, isn’t it?

If you do one or more of these regularly, you’ll find it’s easier to be mindful and that you have less stress overall.

Exercise is another thing you might not immediately associate with mindfulness, particularly in ways to help you be more mindful.

But the mind and body are intimately connected.

What affects one affects the other.

This makes exercise a great way to improve mindfulness.

Mindful movement and mindful activities are common variations of the more common mindful meditation practice people usually start with.

The purpose of these activities is to learn to be mindful while doing them.

Mindful activities can include all forms of exercise.

But this isn’t about mindful exercise.

This is just about how exercise and physical activity, in general, can improve your ability to be mindful. 

You’ve undoubtedly heard all about the good things exercise does for your body, from helping you get in shape to lowering your risk for all kinds of diseases and even early death.

But did you know it has positive effects on your mind as well?

In addition to lowering the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety, exercising helps remove the mental signs of stress and anxiety too.

It slows down your brain and stops it from racing from one thought to another.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Exercise will help clear out that feeling.

This makes your mind calmer as well as your body.

It improves your ability to concentrate, focus and make decisions.

What does that improve?

Your ability to be mindful.

You might not see how this can benefit you if you’re not into working out.

Don’t worry – you don’t have to go to the gym every day to improve your mindfulness practice, even though doing so wouldn’t hurt.

And while cardiovascular exercise might help more than some other forms, it’s not the only type of exercise that will give you these benefits. 

In fact, you don’t even need to set foot in a gym to get the mindfulness benefits of exercise.

Nor do you need to start doing physically intense sports such as mountain biking.

What do you need to do?

Take a walk.

Do yoga.

Lift weights.

Take a tai chi class.

Go swimming.

All of these are examples of simple, easy, low-intensity “exercises” that will give you the same mental and some of the physical benefits that come with intense workouts.

A 15 or 20-minute walk three days a week is enough to improve your mindfulness abilities.

The same applies to these other activities.

Try them and see how your mindfulness practice improves!

It would be nearly impossible to overstate the importance of sleep when it comes to health, never mind mindfulness.

Getting the right amount of sleep and good quality sleep is so vital that it’s been described as the foundation of health – without it, nothing else works right.

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep, even for one night?

Your glucose (blood sugar) levels get thrown off, as does your hormone balance.

Your blood pressure and energy levels will get dinged.

You’ll crave sugar and carbs.

Decision-making will be hard.

So will focusing on tasks.

You’ll be forgetful, possibly cranky, and have lower productivity.

You’re more likely to have any sort of accident, especially one involving driving or machinery.

Learning something new with too little sleep is difficult to impossible.

And that’s all in just one night.

When sleep deprivation is chronic, the problems become chronic too.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other health issues can often be traced back to sleeping issues.

So can stress and anxiety.

Even cancer sometimes has its starting point in chronic sleep problems.

Some people lose their jobs due to lowered productivity as a result of not sleeping.

Or they might keep their jobs but see their personal lives suffer.

If it does all of this to your normal life, what do you think sleep problems do to your ability to be mindful?

If you said they impact it, you’re right.

They can outright obliterate it.

This means one of the most important things you can do to improve your mindfulness practice is to get enough sleep. 

How much sleep do you need?

Anywhere from 7-9 hours a night is typical for most adults.

It varies based on your individual body.

Start improving your sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene.

Set yourself a bedtime every night -and keep it.

Create a bedtime routine that you follow every night to signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.

Do not use your phone or watch TV in bed.

Once you lay down, it should be to go to sleep.

Use blackout curtains if you need to block light from outside.

Avoid caffeine after 2pm because it can impact your sleep habits.

Don’t indulge in late-night snacking, especially on carbs.

If none of this helps, then you might have some underlying issues going on.

See your doctor to find out if you have sleep apnea or if stress or anxiety could be causing your sleep troubles. 

Mindfulness is called a practice for a reason -you have to practice it! It takes lifelong practice and dedication to hone the skill and become adept at it.

Sometimes it takes more than that. Sometimes it requires help.

Getting support from other people for all of our paths in life is a crucial aspect of being human and of self-improvement.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking help, and it’s always a good thing to meet new people interested in the same things you are. 

Practicing mindfulness doesn’t need to be a solitary endeavour.

You don’t have to go it alone, particularly if you’re having trouble.

Instead of pushing through and trying to figure it out all on your own, seek help from others who’ve been there.

You can get support from many places, from coaches and teachers to books to support groups.

Many private coaches help their students with mindfulness practices.

There are also teachers who hold classes and seminars to help students master these practices.

Neither of these options is free, of course, but they are available if you can afford them and are interested.

A free, do-it-yourself support option is to read books on mindfulness practices.

Dozens of books have been written on the subject, and most are available at your local library for free.

You can also buy them from bookstores or on the Internet.

Finally, you should consider seeking out the support and companionship of others who are on the same journey.

Many people are working to master mindfulness right now and many of them are having just as much if not more trouble than you are. 

These people come from all walks of life and every country in the world and have much to offer you.

You probably have much to offer them as well.

Support groups for mindfulness practitioners exist both online and off.

You can find some in your local area if you’re inclined to look.

Even more are available online.

Some of these are synchronous (real-time meetings) via Zoom or another communication platform.

Others are asynchronous forums on Facebook or other websites. 

Support groups are frequently either free or have only a nominal cost to cover the equipment or room rental.

They’re a great way to get to know other people on their own mindfulness journey and find new ways of doing things that might just help you get over your trouble spots. 

How does your schedule look these days?

Do you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to do, or are you short on time?

Are your days leisurely or hurried? Do you always feel time-starved?

If you’re like most people these days, you feel like you never have enough time to even cover the basics, much less to wipe out your to-do list!

Being starved for time seems normal.

When you don’t have enough time, things like your mindfulness practice get pushed to the bottom of the list -if they don’t fall off of it entirely.

This is a mistake.

Not only is it harder to resume working on your self-development activities when you have more time, but not setting aside time for yourself and your personal development makes you more stressed and less productive in general. 

Humans need social time and work time, but they also need time to be themselves and do the things that make them happy.

In this respect, you’re no different from any other animal.

You can only ignore your needs for so long before it starts to cause you problems.

You can stop this issue from occurring right now.

Set aside time in your schedule every week for “me” time.

Pencil it into your appointment book if you’re very busy.

Make it a standing appointment.

It doesn’t matter when it is – 9 pm on Wednesday, 6:30 am to 7:30 am on Friday mornings, or any other time that seems workable. 

Make this time non-negotiable and don’t allow anything to interfere with it other than dire emergencies.

Try to work in several blocks of time for yourself every week.

They don’t have to be an hour long each – even 15 minutes or half an hour is better than nothing. 

This time can be used for your mindfulness practice and anything else that you like to do for fun, from painting to video gaming to shopping.

Read a book. Take a bubble bath.

The most important thing is that it’s something you want to do and something you like. 

You’re just as important as everything else on your to-do list, and if you fall apart from stress or overwork, nothing else on that list is going to get done either.

Make a standing appointment with yourself and keep it religiously.

You’ll be surprised how much better your life will get.

Your mindfulness practice will improve too!

7. Love and Accept Yourself

If you’re having trouble being mindful and looking for ways to improve, you might want to look at your self-image.

Do you accept yourself for who you are? Fully and unconditionally accept yourself?

Before you dismiss the question as nonsense, think about it for a minute.

What is the purpose of mindfulness?

To be more fully aware of yourself, your thoughts, and your surroundings. The thoughts portion is usually the hardest one.

What do your thoughts mainly consist of? Do you know?

Your thoughts are primarily a running internal monologue to yourself about what’s going on around you now and in the future and what’s happened in the past.

This necessarily means that you spend a lot of time thinking about yourself and your self-image.

We humans are great at shying away from things we don’t like, and if someone has a problem with themselves, it’s going to be hard to focus on thoughts because your brain will just shy away from thinking about it.

That is to say, your brain won’t want to be mindful if you dislike yourself, because it doesn’t want to be reminded of that dislike.

Do you suspect this might be one of your problems?

Many people have it, especially in today’s hyper-connected and hyper-critical world where everyone is so often told about every perceived flaw and shortcoming.

It’s hard to like yourself if it seems like no one else does.

You need to sit down and do some introspection about your self-image.

Do you like yourself? What parts of yourself do you like or not like? Why?

What parts of yourself do you still have trouble accepting? Why? Be brutally honest here.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can face it.

Attempt mindfulness again and pay attention to your thoughts.

Notice when you start to say something self-critical.

It’s going to be either something on the list you’ve made or something new you haven’t noticed yet. 

Stop the thought and change it.

“I don’t like x about myself” can become “I accept x about myself.”

Work on training your internal monologue to self-correct these negative thoughts. 

It takes time to finish this process, but you should start seeing improvements in your self-image almost immediately.

The Soulful Digital Mindfulness Journal is designed to help you start your personal development journey.

There are gratitude exercises, daily, weekly and monthly planners, and journal prompts to help you get started.
This self-improvement journal will help you take steps toward becoming a better you. It comes with goal-setting pages, habit trackers, gratitude pages, meal and exercise planners and so much more!

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