Search IconSearch
June 23, 2021/Living Healthy/Wellness

How to Practice Mindfulness to Improve Your Well-Being

Each day, set your intention to stay in the present moment

woman listening to music practicing mindfulness

Daily meditation is a powerful tool for managing your stress and enhancing your health. But bringing present-moment awareness to all your daily activities is important.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Wellness expert Melissa C. Young, MD, shares simple but powerful tips for incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life.

Try meditation

“Daily meditation can help relieve your stress and enhance your thinking,” Dr. Young says. Become aware of your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils, or your belly as it rises and falls.

You can also try this simple exercise, to start:

  • Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose. You want to feel your stomach rise and push against your bottom hand while the hand on your chest remains still.
  • Exhale through your mouth, allowing your belly to fall again.
  • Repeat three times.

Even when you’re not meditating, you can practice mindful breathing throughout the day by taking breaks to breathe deeply. “Diaphragmatic breathing fosters calmness and focus,” Dr. Young says.


Slow down, eat mindfully

Mindfulness applies to eating, too. In fact, studies show that employing mindfulness techniques can be helpful in reducing binge eating and emotional eating.

“Sit down to eat each meal and lay your fork on the table between bites,” Dr. Young advises. “Chew slowly, savoring your food’s sight, taste and smell, so you can better enjoy and digest it.”

And as you try to swap mindless snacking with mindful eating, aim to nourish your body — and mind — with fresh-picked, local food, as from farmers markets. Seasonal, colorful produce is packed with healthy phytonutrients.

Find opportunities for mindfulness

Throughout the day, identify opportunities to practice mindfulness. Consider the following:

  • Focus on one task at a time. Studies show that multitasking doesn’t really work and actually makes us more frazzled and less focused. Instead, practice moment-to-moment awareness in your everyday activities. Whether you’re doing laundry, washing dishes, driving or cooking, give your full attention to each task.
  • Listen well. Listen actively and mindfully to your coworkers, family members and friends. “Strong relationships and broad community networks are good for your body and spirit,” Dr. Young says.
  • Appreciate the natural world. As you take a walk, drink in nature’s majesty by tapping into your senses: Take in the sights, smells and sounds surrounding you.

For additional help in identifying moment of mindfulness, download a mindfulness app. Just search “mindfulness” on your smartphone or tablet to find free apps available for your inspiration — and convenience. Consider Jon Kabat-Zinn Meditations, Insight Timer, Calm and Headspace.

Wind down at night

One hour before bed, dim the lights and draw a warm bath with lavender essential oil and Epsom salts, which have been shown to relax muscles and relieve pain.

To make your bath time even more meaningful — and mindful — set aside electronics and enjoy an inspirational read to help your mind wind down before bed.

Practice gratitude

Being grateful is good for your health. Research shows that an attitude of gratitude is associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammation.

To put your gratitude into practice, keep a gratitude journal. Start by writing down five things you’re grateful for at least three times a week, working up to more if you’re so inclined.

“It’s a wonderful way to bring yourself back into the present moment,” Dr. Young says, “and it feels good, too.”


Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Bottle of essential oil on plate of potpourri, with and candles
May 13, 2024/Wellness
Can You Reduce Stress With Aromatherapy?

Research shows how the use of essential oils can offer a calming effect

Person relaxing on couch at home, reading on a tablet
April 5, 2024/Mental Health
5 Surefire Ways To Help You Relax Right Now

Enter relaxation mode by managing your breathing, releasing muscle tension and practicing mindfulness

stress factors floating around person with eczema on arms
February 8, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
Eczema and Stress: What’s the Connection?

Your body’s natural response to stress can lead to painful skin irritation

various New Year's resolutions written in date planner, with weights and chocolate in foreground
December 28, 2023/Primary Care
8 Common New Year’s Resolutions and How To Keep Them

Whether you’re trying to work out more, drink less or manage stress, we can help set you up for success

Happy caucasian woman hiking in forest
December 5, 2023/Mental Health
Forest Bathing: What It Is and Its Potential Benefits

Immersing yourself in nature can improve both your mental and physical health

people finding their seats on airplane
October 19, 2023/Primary Care
How Airplane Travel Affects Your Body

Flying can cause dehydration and bloating and make you feel tired and stressed

A person struggling with sensory overload, in the middle of a storm of sensory icons.
July 19, 2023/Wellness
How To Manage (and Even Overcome) Sensory Overload

When your senses start to feel overwhelmed, practices like deep breathing can help

Person on couch writing in their journal to find stress relief.
June 4, 2023/Mental Health
12 Ways To Recover From Burnout

Start by seeing a healthcare provider to rule out conditions with similar symptoms

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims