ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Steps Toward Mindfulness

Updated on March 7, 2019
TaggMartensen profile image

Tagg Martensen is a life coach and entrepreneur dedicated to helping others live their dreams.

Mindfulness Versus Mindlessness

Have you ever been driving along a familiar route, say between work/school and home, only to find that upon arrival you don't really remember the drive? You went on autopilot from the moment you set out. You knew the road well, you were paying attention to all of the hazards but your mind wandered. You simply didn't need to think and concentrate on what you were doing.

Mindfulness is all about taking the time to experience the present. We live in a world where, if we don't lose focus because of routine, it's entirely too easy to lose focus due to distraction.

Below are three easy steps you can take to center yourself and achieve a state of calm even if you have a stressful life.

Step 1: Look Up

I don't mean this in any profound way. I'm not talking about positive thinking. I mean you should literally lift your head and look higher than you normally would. Many people, as they walk down the street, look no higher than the faces of people roughly their height as they approach talking distance (3 - 4 feet).

Who can blame us? If you grew up in a city you might have been discouraged from looking up to admire the skyscrapers for fear of "looking like a tourist." Tourists are often looking upward at the marvels mankind has built because they are aware of their surroundings and can appreciate with awe the greatness they see. All the while, the rest of us look at our feet, talk on our phones and generally get annoyed with the out of towners looking up.

You don't need to block the sidewalk and stare and the big buildings to look up. Just move your gaze slightly higher. Notice the sky, the clouds, the things that you otherwise would never have noticed without that slight adjustment of the eyes.

Step 2: Feel Your Feet

A common eastern meditation practice is known as "walking meditation." Unfortunately, many people misinterpret what this means. Often, people hear the phrase and assume it means zoning out while walking.

Rather, it means that you should focus while walking. Focus on the feeling of your feet as they hit the ground. Focus on the feeling as your foot moves forward and lifts again. Each delicate movement is a marvel of engineering in the human body yet, it's something we take for granted because we do it all day.

Notice the feeling. Then, as your other foot strikes the ground, focus on that foot. Don't dwell on what you just felt. Keep your attention on what you are feeling in the moment. Maintain that upward gaze.

Step 3: The Sounds of Silence

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where you can walk and experience quiet, count yourself lucky! Also, try to avoid humming or singing or talking to yourself as you move. There's nothing wrong with these things as they can help soothe us when we're feeling stressed. However, right now, we're focusing on our present. We don't want to escape our reality; we want to embrace it.

If you can't escape the city noise and can safely use headphones as you walk, consider listening to either white noise or something highly repetitive like shamanic drumming. These sounds will help to block out the city noise and allow your mind to focus on sight and feeling.

Personally, I recommend against using some of the standard "soothing sounds" such as ocean waves, rain, or babbling creek. While these are, indeed, soothing sounds they also evoke mental imagery that takes us away from the present. We begin imagining the ocean as we hear it. We may start to recall trips we had to the ocean or the creek we played in as kids or what this very street looked like once during a downpour. There's nothing wrong with those things, of course. However, our focus in this exercise is to focus on the present.

Building a meditative practice

These three steps are an easy start guide to mindfulness. They aren't, however, the only path toward it. The hope is that you can take simple steps like this to see how mindfulness practice can enhance your life and bring you a greater level of peace and satisfaction. Personally, I engage in a walking meditation at least once a day. I find that seemingly insurmountable challenges I faced before the walk now seem easily approachable after the walk.

These steps may get you started. However, you'll find that to enjoy the lasting effects you'll need to develop a full meditative practice. That means small exercises that you'll practice throughout the day. Some of them may be formal and others highly informal. Some of them you need to shut yourself away for quiet time. Others you can practice while on the elevator at work or while sitting on a bus.

Whatever you do to build your meditative practice just ensure that the practice is yours and catered to your needs. Live the present on your terms.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)