Most people can only devote a few minutes each day to meditation. This is a good start because a regular meditation practice will provide you with the foundation of being mindful during your waking hours. There are a few things you can do throughout the day to retain the meditative state that you picked up during your meditation.
1. Spend a few minutes monitoring your breathing.
The practice of paying attention to your breathing will help to center you during the day. Most of us are unaware of it. But once you notice it, it helps to calm the body and mind. It will help anchor you in the awareness of your body in the here and now. Throughout the day you can practice watching your breathing. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back to the breath. The more often you can do this the better you will feel.
2. Focus on the present.
People are thinking all the time. Most of our thoughts are about the past or the future. We get so lost in our thoughts that we are not enjoying the present moment. When you are mindful you realize that you are not your thoughts. When you focus on the present moment, it forces you to stop over thinking and to enjoy life. To practice mindfulness, you need to bring yourself to the present. Whenever you catch yourself with unproductive thoughts about the past or the future, you need to snap out of it and be aware of what is happening now.
3. Focus on happiness.
When we are thinking we have a tendency to focus on the negative or unhappy thoughts. When you find yourself doing this replace it with happy thoughts or emotions. Happiness is a moment-to-moment choice that you make everyday. You can be happy or unhappy. This is a personal decision you make everyday. When you focus on the positive aspects of your life, you will feel better about yourself. People who appreciate small moments of happiness, laughter and joy during the day are living life to the fullest. Remember, positive thinking is better than negative thinking. No thinking is better than positive thinking.
4. Take breaks during the day.
Even if it is for 5 minutes, get up from whatever you are doing and relax. You can use this time to practice on being present or focusing on your breath. During your break you shut off all distractions like your phones, computers, TV, etc. This is your moment to just do nothing. Sit at your chair and practice listening to the sounds around you. Be aware of everything that is happening in your environment. An important part of doing nothing is being able to completely relax. Being mindful is finding peace in the chaos of the day.