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It doesn’t take sitting cross legged on a cushion or some kind of spiritual awakening to experience the benefits of mindfulness. The good news is that if we want to we can get started immediately. Research proves it contributes to a happier and healthier life.

One way to incorporate a mindfulness practice into a busy work and home life is to add it to an existing habit, for example exercise. Here’s how.

Let’s say you run regularly. Chances are you plug in your ear buds and get an extra adrenaline surge from your favourite playlist as you go. To develop mindfulness, forgo the music and instead note your sensations, sights or thoughts as you run.

You might note these to yourself by silently naming them, for example, ‘trees’, ‘pressure’, ‘thinking’.

This inward noting process brings your attention to the present moment and this, in essence is what developing mindfulness is about. There can be a wonderful spaciousness and stress release in just being here, now and letting go of everything else crowding our attention.

Granted, it is not as fun as running with your favourite songs at a motivating bpm, however if becoming more mindful is one of your New Year intentions and you have yet to start, this is one way forward-

We get to live once, only once so let’s make the most of where we are right now, and enjoy it. Mindfulness is simply a tool to help.

How could you add it to a regular activity?