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Starting a Mindfulness Practice

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Many people would like to start a mindfulness practice, but are not sure how to start. I typically recommend these five steps:

  1. View this segment from the CBS News program 60 Minutes, which will give a very short overview obout mindfulness and why it is an important skill to enhance physical and mental well-being.
  2. View the original PBS special feature with Bill Moyers entitled "Healing and the Mind", which documents the beginnings of mindfulness in te United States in the early 1980s.
  3. Download and view the eight lessons of free content on the mindfulness app entitled 10% Happier by ABC News Anchor Dan Harris, author of the best-selling book by the same name.
  4. Visit the website Mindful.org and check out some of the articles on starting a mindfulness practice.
  5. Find a 5-10 minute block of time in your day, preferably the same time each day, Choose a location where you will not be disturbed. Turn off all electronic distractions. Breathe in and out slowly, trying to keep your focus on the physical sensations of your breath and where you feel it most. When your mind wanders or chatters about anything it would prefer to be doing right in that moment, simply close your eyes, make no judgment about how you screwed up, and start again. Repeat this process until your time is up. Go about your day and come back tomorrow.
  6. Take some time to visit the New York Times Guide for starting a mindfulness practice.

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