How to Apply Mindfulness to the Challenges of Daily Life

If you’re only using meditation as a way to help you relax at the end of a hectic day, then you’re missing out on a great deal of its benefits.

One of the most amazing things about mindfulness is how it can transform your relationship with things like stress, anxiety, intense emotions, pain and so on.

But it’s not magic. It takes work and a lot of practice.

Here’s a brief overview of how I teach my students to transition their practice off the cushion and into the real world:

First develop some skill in mindfulness during your meditation sessions

You want to use your meditation sessions in a similar way to how an athlete uses gym workouts: use them to develop and train your mindfulness skills to the point where you can usefully apply them in your daily life.

This means getting some experience with observing your meditation object (and whatever else comes up during your meditation session) with alertness, receptiveness and non-reactivity.

If you’re not already able to do this, you can find lots of helpful free resources on how to get started here, or you can take my crash course for beginners.

Then begin with the easy stuff

Once you’ve got the basics down in your meditation, start bringing mindfulness into your daily life activities.

Begin with the easy stuff, like brushing your teeth, taking out the garbage, etc. This will allow you to practice being mindful off the cushion in a low-demand way.

Do this for at least a couple of weeks to lay down a solid foundation.

Expand your mindfulness

Slowly expand your mindful awareness to encompass your physical sensations, thoughts, moods and emotional states throughout the day.

Start with physical sensations, because they are the easiest. Whenever you remember to, be mindful of how your body feels in that moment, and try to maintain this mindfulness in the periphery of your awareness for as long as you can throughout the day.

When you get the hang of this, you can include thoughts, moods and emotional states.

You can find more suggestions on how to do this here:

And go for it

Now you have a solid foundation in place to tackle some of the more challenging stuff, like stress, anxiety, intense emotions, and so on.

The resources below go into a lot more detail about how to apply mindfulness to some common issues that arise in daily life.

How to Master Stress Using Mindfulness: The Stress Surfing Technique

In this 3 part series I share a simple technique I call Stress Surfing, which is a way of using mindfulness to completely transform your relationship with stress.

It’s a way of taking the stress out of stress!

How I gave up Sugar Using Mindfulness

A three part series about how I used mindfulness to help me quit eating sugar, and how you can do the same.

This process works for any kind of food craving, not just for sweets.

Working with Pain

In this blog post I show you how to use mindfulness to change the way you think about and relate to pain, so that pain and other uncomfortable sensations become more manageable, even if you can’t do anything to actually stop the pain itself.

The Mindful Antidote to Waking up Tired and Cranky

We all have one of those mornings every so often.

Here’s a guide to working with your waking emotional state and initial thoughts.

I explain why trying to change or suppress your underlying mood is a really bad idea and why being mindful of the mood is a far superior approach and gives much better results.

How to Find out More

There’s a lot more to say about developing mindfulness, and the specifics of how to actually apply it in your daily life.

If you’d like to learn more, sign up for my weekly blog updates.

I’ll share with you how to cultivate and apply mindfulness to transform your relationship with things like stress, anxiety, anger and other difficult emotions, based on my 20+ years of meditation experience.

I’ll also share a precise, effective, down to earth method for spiritual development (if that’s your thing), without all the fluff and hazy mystical language you’ll often run into with this kind of stuff.

If this sounds interesting to you, click here to find out more.