By Samantha Delaney, Wellness and Training Administrator, Ease@Work

In our stressful, modern world, we often forget to live in the moment. We are constantly rushed or multitasking. This diminishes our ability to focus on the here and now and saps our emotional energy.

Mindfulness is a state of active, willing, open attention to the present. This means putting aside judgment and simply appreciating what surrounds you. According to recent studies, individuals who engage in mindful practices are more innovative, charismatic, joyful, and calm.

Mastering mindfulness, however, is a process. It must be learned and cultivated for optimal results. Here are three basic strategies to help you develop mindfulness:

Mindful breathing

Simply be still and focus on your breath for just one minute. Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. One cycle should last for approximately six seconds. Focus only on your breaths, letting go of all other thoughts.

Mindful observation

This simple exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at as if you are seeing it for the first time. Become aware of the object’s most minute details.

Mindful appreciation

Take notice of things or people in your daily routines that you may take for granted, such as the electricity you use daily, the chirping of a bird, the mailman. Then ask yourself: Do you know how these things or processes came to exist or how they work? Have you ever properly acknowledged how these things benefit your life and the lives of others? Have you ever thought about what life might be like without these things?