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Mindfulness for Beginners - How Do I Start Learning Mindfulness?

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

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Are you thinking about starting to learn mindfulness? Congratulations! You might be on the brink of one of the best decisions of your life.

Mindfulness, the practice of being present in the moment, is a doorway to a calmer mind, a more vibrant life, and a deeper connection with yourself and the world around you. It can elevate your whole life to a completely new level. Learn more about the benefits of mindfulness.

And anybody can start learning mindfulness! In this blog post, we'll go through some common questions beginners have regarding mindfulness and offer practical tips on how to start doing this life-changing practice.

A person sitting on a sunny field, enjoying being present in the moment. You can start learning mindfulness anywhere, anytime and become more attentive of the here and the now. Mindfulness is a truly life-changing practice.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in a moment and a skill anyone can learn.

What is the First Step to Mindfulness?

When you start to learn mindfulness the first step is to really understand what being mindful means.

Mindfulness guides us to be more present in the moment. It is a practice of consciously shifting our attention from our minds to the here and now.

There's usually some confusion in the beginning about what is meant by attention. We are so used to living this life through our thoughts, that it's quite common when first practicing mindfulness to start thinking about the present moment.

While thinking about the present moment is not what is meant by mindfulness, it is a start. So don't get discouraged if you get confused and mixed up in the beginning.

We will give later some tips on how you can practice really experiencing the present moment instead of thinking about it.

Is Mindfulness Just Meditation?

No, mindfulness is not just meditation and you can actually practice mindfulness without meditating at all.

Meditation can serve as a method to enhance mindfulness, yet mindfulness can extend into everyday life, encompassing activities like eating, walking, or simply maintaining awareness of your thoughts and emotions throughout the day.

How Do I Start Learning Mindfulness?

When you have got the hang of what mindfulness means, you can start learning some basic mindfulness practices and activities.

It's usually a good approach to initially explore various mindfulness techniques to discover which ones best suit your individual needs for being more present in the moment.

Here are some good mindfulness exercises you can try out when you are starting to learn mindfulness:

Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing is a good exercise to start with because concentrating on our breath usually takes our attention rather easily away from our thoughts.

To practice, take a comfortable position and start paying attention to your breathing. You don't need to modify your breathing in any way, just pay attention to the sensations in your body as the air moves in and out.

If your mind wanders, you can give it something to do by counting your breaths. But remember that it is totally normal to have your mind wander, so you can just accept it knowing, that with practice it will be easier and easier for your mind to relax.

Body Scans

Our bodies, unlike our minds, live only in the present moment. This is why shifting our attention to our bodies is such a great way to practice mindfulness.

Body scanning is a method where you shift your attention from one body part to another, noticing any sensations, tensions, or relaxation.

Start from your toes and slowly move your attention upward, paying close attention to each part of your body.

Mindful Observation

Mindful observation can be applied to pretty much anything; our thoughts, our emotions, sights, sounds, smells, and so on.

When you start practicing mindful observation you can choose a specific object, such as a flower, an artwork, or a tree. Something you can happily pay attention to for a few minutes.

Spend a few minutes observing it closely, noticing details you may have never noticed before. Allow your mind to fully engage with what you see. You can also touch it and feel the textures.

Sigh it is pretty closely connected to our minds, so if watching an object isn't working for you, you can choose something to listen to or touch closely.

Natural objects and nature in general are often more helpful to be mindful of than man-made objects.

A person sitting on a hill watching a beautiful forest landscape. Nature helps being more present in the moment so it is a good idea to utilize natural elements when starting to learn mindfulness.
Nature and natural elements are helpful when starting to learn mindfulness.

Can You Learn Mindfulness on Your Own?

Shortly put, yes, you can learn mindfulness on your own. It really isn't something you have to learn in a conventional sense.

Being mindful and present in the moment is an ability we are born with, but when we grow older and get more and more caught up in our minds and thoughts, the present moment becomes veiled. So the ability to be mindful all the time with you and because of that, you can definitely teach yourself mindfulness.

When learning mindfulness on your own, you should remember, that it doesn't require as much learning as it requires practice. And practice. And then some more practice.

Numerous valuable resources are available for self-guided mindfulness learning, including mindfulness apps, YouTube tutorials, and books.

A person meditating on a beach and images of app, which is a woderful tool if you are starting to learn mindfulness.

* is a wonderful, all-encompassing mindfulness app with loads of useful exercises and information.

Start Learning Mindfulness in Small Steps

It's often best to start practicing mindfulness with small, manageable steps. Begin by dedicating just a few minutes each day (or every other day) to mindfulness exercises, like mindful breathing or a brief body scan.

You can gradually, when you feel comfortable, start extending the practicing time and start incorporating present-moment awareness into your normal daily activities.

With practice, you'll notice that your attention to the present moment will begin to come naturally.

It's the consistent, gentle effort that ultimately leads to greater presence, inner peace, and a more mindful way of living.

So, take those small steps and be kind to yourself. You've already got this.

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