Mindfulness for Beginners: Tips and tricks

Have you ever wondered, ‘what exactly is mindfulness?’

Or maybe thought ‘I understand it, but maybe not.’ If so, read on... This blog post may just answer your mindful prayers.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about cultivating a conscious, present-moment awareness.

Most of the time your mind wanders, unconsciously, to thoughts about the past and future. Through practising mindfulness, you discover how to be more present to your experiences in the here and now.

Mindfulness often also embodies mindful attitudes like being kind to yourself, cultivating a sense of curiosity about your experiences and accepting whatever experience is arising for you.

Mindfulness is great, but is in some sense only the beginning. It’s important for mindfulness to be cultivated together with kindness and compassion for yourself, and others. This is what I call kindfulness.

Everyday Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be cultivated every day and in every moment. Here are some examples:


At home, any repetitive physical task is ideal for being mindful. When washing the dishes, notice the temperature of the water, the colour of the bubbles, any tensions in your body. When having a cup of tea (as we often do here in the UK), be aware of the colour of the tea, the weight of the cup and the pleasurable feeling of enjoying the taste. Hmmm.


Notice your feet on the floor as you walk from one room to the next. Be conscious of your bodily posture and sensations as you sit down and stand up. Take a few moments to pause and breathe at the end of one task and the start of another.


When your partner, friend or colleague is speaking, practice listening non-judgmentally. No need to constantly plan what you’re going to say next. Instead, just listen as deeply as you can.

Ask follow up questions rather than being tempted to keep stating your own ideas. Be present to their words, body language and tone of voice.


If driving, spend less time talking on your phone or listening to the radio, and more time being present to the experience. When in traffic, take time to notice the sky, the clouds and the rain. When cruising, watch the road ahead and be aware of your bodily sensations from time to time too.

If you’re on a train or bus, notice your surroundings. Be aware of the view outside - trees, birds, sky and people. Notice people inside too, and see if you can drop your usual judgments of other and be more curious and open instead.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness is most powerfully boosted through practising mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is when you take the time to stop for a while and just practice mindfulness exercises. I like to meditate every morning. But you can practice whenever you like.

Here’s an easy one for you to try:

1.    Sit or lie down. Get as comfortable as you can.

2.    Take a few deep breaths and notice your body relax a bit

3.    Spend a minute or so feeling what your body feels like. Use your mindful awareness to notice how your body is feeling. Adjust your posture now so you’re even more comfortable.

4.    Let your breathing be natural as best you can. Count 10 breaths. If you lose count, start again.

5.    When your notice your mind has wandered to other thoughts, just smile. You’ll naturally come back to the present moment, in that moment.

6.    Gently end the exercise when you’re ready to do so, with a little stretch. Notice how you feel and the effects of the meditation.

What’s the secret to successful mindfulness meditation?

There’s two secrets actually!

1.    Don’t try to get anything out of it - it sounds crazy, I know, but the more you want to be relaxed or peaceful or anything - the more you’re stressing your mind. Instead, let it be. The Beatles knew what they were singing about.

2.    Be incredibly kind to your body and mind. Let your body be really comfortably and cosy. Be totally forgiving to your mind each time it wanders off. Infact, let it wander off if it wants to, and smile to welcome it back when it does come back. It always will.

Overcoming common problems

Too much thinking

If you find you just can’t control your thoughts, don’t. Instead, just stop controlling. For goodness sake, let your mind wander and just observe it. Trust me on this and you’ll discover something amazing within minutes. Everyone wants to constantly try and control their mind and that’s when the problems start.

If you still want another technique, try counting your breaths, or use a mantra. Each time you breathe in, say ‘peace’ and each time you breathe out say ‘let go’ in your mind. Once your mind calms, you can stop doing that.

Not enough time

Think you’re too busy to meditate or be mindful? Then you really need to do this mindfulness stuff!

Start with 1 minute everyday. Take deep in and out breaths and really feel them. The benefits of improved focus and relaxation will probably gain you an extra 10 minutes in the day, if not more. Mindfulness is the ultimate investment of time. That’s why CEOs and top leaders do it too, even though they are more busy than you are.

But I can’t concentrate!

Mindfulness is not concentration. It’s not about trying hard to focus. It’s about LETTING GO. At the beginning of your meditations, your mind will go wild and think a lot. Have courage and faith in the process. With time, one day, you’ll find your mind calms. It takes a lot of patience but it well worth the time. Everyday will be different. Some days are easier than others, for sure.

Tips for success


This is one of the best tips. Most people take mindfulness far too seriously. And physically smiling on your face as you practice a mindfulness meditation is a ‘game changer’. Give it a try if you’ve never done it before. One of those little subtle smiles works well, just like on the Buddha statues!


Meditation is about relaxing your body and relaxing the mind. Don’t try too hard. Don’t worry if you can’t focus or your mind wanders. How do you relax? By being aware of whatever comes into your awareness, and being kind to it.

Let go of wanting

Wanting, desiring, craving...these are all dragging you out of the present moment. They are all saying, this present moment is not good enough. This present moment is good enough. Try accepting this moment just as it is, with a smile, and your natural mindfulness will flourish.


Mindfulness is about being present to your moment-to-moment experiences, ideally with a sense of kindness, curiosity and acceptance. Through practising mindfulness everyday and/or mindfulness meditations, you’ll feel more relaxed, be more focused and be happier. The secret is to be kind to yourself as you practice, and to let go of trying to achieve a particular goal as you practice. If you have any questions or tips, share them below!