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How Do I Practice Mindfulness Outside Of Meditation?

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Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand. Mindful meditation is even a specific practice of meditation. Mindfulness can also be a practice outside of meditation, though, arguably, the practice of mindfulness is inherently meditative. Going into a deep meditation, or any kind of meditation, is not necessary to practice mindfulness. Throughout the day, there are small ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life which can have a tremendous benefit. Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress in mind, body, as well as spirit, including symptoms of mental health disorders and substance use disorders. With more calm, focus, and attention, your life will change as a result of changing your thoughts.

The practice of mindfulness includes a few simple applications: awareness, paying attention, and noticing. Mindfulness asks that in doing each of these- in being aware, in paying attention, and in noticing, that you have non-judgment and allow each thought you experience to be as it is.


Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” Jon Kabat Zinn, a leading author on mindful meditation, explains that awareness pops the soap bubbles of our thoughts. We don’t have to mindfully think our thoughts away. Instead, awareness helps us change our thoughts and by becoming aware of them, we eliminate or change them. Awareness sounds more simple than it is. We do a million things a day we are unaware of because we are not directly focused on them. Mindfulness helps us just begin to be aware of what is happening in our minds, as well as our bodies.


Our awareness comes from our ability to notice what is coming up for us in physical and mental sensations. How often do you truly notice your breath or your breathing? Do you notice the signs of hunger before you become over hungry and emotional? Have you ever noticed the feelings you have before you start expressing them? Noticing is how we become aware. Once we have noticed, we are aware. Try to notice within your senses every day. What do you notice about what you see? What do you notice about what you smell? Playing with your senses can help you grow your practice of noticing.

Paying Attention

Once you’ve noticed and become aware, you can start paying more attention. The interesting thing about awareness is that once you become aware, once you have started noticing, you can’t become unaware, you can’t not notice. Your thoughts, your behaviors, or the particular facets of your life are officially on your radar. Now, you can start to pay more attention to them, learn from them, and continue changing them.

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