Practice Mindfulness to De-Stress and Re-Invigorate Your Daily Life

It’s easier than you think!

Norrie Beach
6 min readFeb 9, 2022


Photo by Juan chavez on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard the word “Mindfulness” before. Maybe you associate it with meditation, spirituality, or those ten minutes at the end of Yoga class when you get to take a nap. Although meditation, spirituality, and yoga are tools you can use to practice mindfulness, mindfulness is just the simple exercise of grounding yourself in the present moment.

The dictionary defines mindfulness as:

  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

An act of mindfulness can be incredibly simple. For example, try taking a few minutes to really savor a cup of coffee or practice breathing deeply in between episodes of Top Chef. Being mindful allows you to fully enjoy your life while it’s happening.

Why is Mindfulness so Important?

If you pay attention, you might notice that you spend most of your life contemplating the future or obsessing over moments from the past. We all do. We spend so much time in the past or future that we often completely disregard the present moment. But happiness lives in the present. Studies show that the ability to bring oneself back to what’s happening right now leads to a more fulfilled life. Mindfulness can make us better at listening, more empathetic, and it can even improve our physical health.

Mindfulness can be an especially useful tool for people with anxiety, something we all have a little more of since COVID entered our lives. Anxiety leads to more time spent mulling over possible scenarios, making plans that never play out, asking your boyfriend impossible questions while he shoots you sidelong glances in between Call of Duty games. Being mindful of these moments is the first step to overcoming day-to-day anxiety.

Practicing mindfulness will help you notice the moments when you’re engrossed in anxieties about a future that may or may not even happen. Once you learn to see when you’re lost in your thoughts, you can practice guiding yourself out of them and back into the present moment that’s passing you by.

The First Step? Enjoy the Little Things

Staying in the present moment not only alleviates negative feelings, such as anxiety or depression, but it also creates and boosts positive feelings. Being more mindful makes you more aware of the great things going on right in front of you. You start to notice and appreciate little things more, like the taste of an Almondmilk Honey Flat White from Starbucks or the feeling of water hitting your back in the shower. You also may even start to enjoy life’s little annoyances, like washing the dishes or folding laundry. Instead of dreading those tasks, maybe you’ll even look forward to them because they give you a chance to breathe and check-in with yourself.

So how exactly do you start a mindfulness practice? Here are some simple tips to help you add a little bit more mindfulness into your life every single day.

Write in a Gratitude Journal

I love a good journal. I have a journal for my thoughts, a journal for recipes, a work journal, a journal for this blog; you get the picture. This may sound cheesy, but my favorite journal is my gratitude journal. I encourage you to get yourself a fresh new journal. Every night, before you go to bed, write down five things you’re grateful for. Don’t just write down big obvious things like your family or your health. Instead, think about little things that made you happy each day. Maybe you’re grateful for the awesome smoothie you had for breakfast or the compliment your coworker gave you.

When you keep a daily gratitude journal, you start paying more attention to all of the tiny great things that happen throughout your day because you’re looking for something to write down. When you notice these wonderful moments as they’re happening, you’ll be able to savor and enjoy them.

Start Your Day Right

Every day when I wake up, I spend one or two quiet minutes setting my intention for the day. Some days I decide to really focus on being a good listener, or I decide to make an effort to be extra kind to myself. Setting an intention every morning allows me to be more mindful throughout the day as I work to accomplish my intention. A few days a week, I like to set more concrete intentions. “I’m not going to leave any dishes in the sink today” or “I’m going to take a five-minute break from work every hour.” When your intentions are measurable, you can celebrate every little win throughout the day. Maybe you’ll even add your accomplishments to your gratitude journal!

Check-in with Yourself Throughout the Day

Even if you take a moment in the morning to set an intention, it’s easy to lose yourself in the excitement or stress of the day and forget to practice mindfulness. So instead, take some moments throughout the day to check in with yourself. It can be easy to rush from meeting to meeting or jump from task to task thoughtlessly. Instead, try to schedule short moments to pause and pay attention to how you’re feeling. Set reminders on your phone or leave yourself a note.

If you’re anxious or overwhelmed, use that check-in moment to come back to the present, center yourself, and start over. Let go of your stress and anxiety and return to your intention. Once you’re grounded again, move on with your day.


Here’s a good one if you’re looking for one more reason to get your body moving every day. When you do a challenging exercise, like HIIT or Spinning, it’s almost impossible NOT to be mindful of the present. There’s no time for anxiety or stress because you’re entirely focused on the intensity of what you’re doing at that moment. As a mindfulness bonus point, exercising also leaves you with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Maybe you’ll savor that feeling and add it to your gratitude list. So find something you enjoy, and get moving!


The prospect of meditation may intimidate you. It could seem daunting at first, but it WILL change your life — no question about it. Meditation is a simple and wonderful way to get in touch with yourself. Before you begin, make sure you’re doing it right.

When I was in middle school, my mom started playing musical chairs with religion. She jumped from Episcopalian to Unitarian to Quaker and finally settled on Buddhism. My sister and I jumped around with her, eager for any excuse to miss Sunday School. After my mom found the Buddhist church, we started going every Sunday. Instead of a sermon, we would meditate for an hour. Based on the number of hours I spent “meditating”, you would think I would be a pro by now, but I would mostly spend the hour wondering what was for lunch or wishing I could sneak a look at my phone.

Since then, I have learned that you can’t just sit in silence and call it meditation. Meditation is about noticing your thoughts without judging them. Noticing what’s going on in your head is the first step to happiness. Once you notice your thoughts, you can start letting go of the negative and inviting more positive ones.

I use a guided meditation app, calm. I would suggest this app to anyone who wants to start a meditation practice but doesn’t know where to begin. It has a wide array of meditations, most of which are under 10 minutes. Meditation may seem frustrating at first, but the longer you stick with it, the better you will be. That’s why they call it a meditation “practice”. It takes work, but the work is worth the rewards. If you can add meditation into your day, I promise that it will be the icing on the cake of your mindfulness practice.

Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated. With just a few small shifts, you’ll find yourself living more in the present and less in the past or future. And you’ll be so much happier for it.



Norrie Beach

Freelance writer. Blogger. Lover of true crime podcasts, appetizers, and going to the beach.