The best way to begin a mindfulness practice is to start with something short, such as practicing for one minute. Then, gradually build yourself up from there, to a longer practice. It is helpful to limit the number of distractions when you practice, so put away the phone, turn off your music, and pick a room in your house that tends to be more quiet. But, you really can practice anywhere, even the most noisy room in the house!
Once you have your location picked out, set a small goal, like starting with just one minute.
- Week 1: Start each day with a moment of gratitude, picking one thing you are grateful for, while you breathe in and out. Use a guided practice (you can find them for free on BLOOM’s Healthy Mind practices section, or download a free app like Stop, Breathe, Think, Plum Village, Insight Timer, or Liberate) and gradually move towards a two-minute practice by the end of the first week.
- Week 2: From two-minute long practices by the end of week one, give yourself the goal of completing a five minute practice by the end of week two. You can keep using the guided practices, or experiment on your own. Try going for a mindful walk or enjoying mindful eating during this week.
- Week 3: During week three, sustain your five minute practice with the aim (intention) to practice every day. If you haven’t yet tried mindful movement or mindful eating, try those! If you have, add mindful seeing or mindful tune in with your body.
- Week 4: Congratulations, you’re forming a really positive habit! Try the rest of the practices like a morning routine or a longer gratitude practice. Keep practicing from 1-5 minutes per day.
- Ongoing: Allow yourself to celebrate your work in bringing this healthy practice into your life. Even if it’s just for one minute, try to practice every day no matter what. Mindful showering, mindful toothbrushing, mindful texting — see how many activities you can bring mindfulness to and watch the benefits increase in your life!
Supporting your Young Person
You can do this same practice and include your young person as well. Learning this together can help build on your bond with each other and increase the mutual respect you have for one another, which can translate to all parts of your life together. If you think they would prefer to do this practice on their own, remind and congratulate them of their daily and weekly goals if they need it.