March 5, 2024

Three Techniques for Mindfulness

By Josh Wei
Anxiety & Depression
Mental Health & Wellbeing

The busyness of day-to-day life involves a constant stream of errands, conversations, and distractions. The idea of slowing down can feel unnecessary or even detrimental when there are so many things to think about and tend to. I believe mindfulness is an important technique to practice in order to make space for ourselves and find peace. At its core, mindfulness is the practice of bringing awareness to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and compassion. It involves intentionally directing our attention to our thoughts, feelings, body, and surroundings, without getting caught up in them or reacting to them impulsively. In therapy sessions, I often introduce mindfulness as a way to cultivate a compassionate relationship with our internal self and emotions, promoting greater self-awareness and emotional regulation.

Mindful Breathing

Developing mindfulness starts with the simple yet effective act of deep breathing. This involves directing your attention to the sensations of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes if you’d like. Bring your awareness to the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation of air passing through your body. Notice each breath without judgment, and allow yourself to fully experience the present moment. When your mind wanders, gently guide your attention back to the breath.

Body Scan

The body scan is a helpful technique for developing embodied awareness and releasing tension held within the body. Find quiet space to either lay down or sit comfortably. Close your eyes and bring your attention to the sensations in your body, starting from the top of your head and slowly scanning down to your toes. As you move your awareness through each part of your body, notice any areas of tightness, discomfort, or ease. What do you feel? What stands out to you? Instead of trying to change or fix these sensations, simply observe them with curiosity and kindness. As you continue to practice the body scan, you may begin to develop a deeper sense of connection to your body and a greater awareness of your experiences.

R.A.I.N. Meditation

For those of us that thrive in structure, guided meditations can be a great way to teach our minds to slow down and build mindfulness. One meditation that I often use and bring up with clients is the R.A.I.N. meditation by Tara Brach, Ph.D. The acronym highlights 4 steps to follow for mindfulness and emotional regulation: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture. The idea behind this meditation is to build a better understanding and acceptance of our emotions, even if they are uncomfortable.

You can find more information about the R.A.I.N. meditation here.


Mindfulness can take many forms beyond sitting on a cushion, such as mindful walking, eating, or even cleaning your room. The key is to approach these activities with full attention and presence, allowing yourself to fully engage with the present moment. Like any skill, mindfulness requires practice and consistency and may feel difficult in the beginning! It’s equally important to integrate mindfulness into your daily routines, not just in moments of distress. Whether you’re seeking relief from stress, healing from past wounds, or building self-awareness, mindfulness offers a path towards greater well-being and wholeness.

Written By

Josh Wei

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