Daily Mindfulness: A Habit Worth Forming for Lifelong Benefits

When it comes to mindfulness, forming a daily habit is essential to reaping meaningful, lasting benefits.

Without a daily mindfulness practice in place, it's easy to get distracted by life events and push mindfulness aside. It turns out that intention and motivation play a significant role in setting and maintaining a daily practice.

It can be said that action comes at the intersection between motivation and ability. So, if you have intention, motivation, and ability, you've got what it takes to get started on a daily routine for healthy mind and body.

Carving Out Time to Establish a Daily Mindfulness Habit

Establishing a consistent time for practice is perhaps one of the most important things to consider. If someone is concerned about taking the time to practice five to ten minutes a day, our research shows that they will get that time back in spades.

For instance, our educators report that they spend less time redirecting students in the classroom. And when they have the students’ focus and attention because of practicing mindfulness, they can get through their curriculum faster and more efficiently. In addition to establishing a consistent time to practice, it can also be helpful to create a cue that tells your brain it's time to begin.

A habit consists of three separate parts:

  • Cue: The signal that causes your brain to know it's time to perform the action
  • Action: In this case, practicing mindfulness
  • Reward: What you get out of completing the action (i.e., feeling calm, relaxed, or focused)

So, before the start of the practice itself, the teacher may dim the lights in the classroom, which is the cue that practice is about to begin. Also, the Inner Explorer platform simplifies the practice for teachers and students with its audio-based press and play program.

Habits work because they are rewarding on so many levels. Interestingly, with a habit, participants begin receiving dopamine hits as an anticipatory reward at the time of the cue. So, a daily practice habit offers a trifecta of rewards; before, during, and after.

It's preferential for educators to practice at the same time each day, whether it's first thing in the morning or after lunch, dimming lights and having the students face forward, just creating cues to begin the habit loop.

What Does Daily Mindfulness Do for Those Who Practice?

Cementing a daily habit helps people continue their practice instead of dropping off. Consider that toothbrushing promotes dental health just as daily mindfulness promotes mental health and overall wellbeing.

So, establishing a consistent mindfulness habit makes it easier and more likely to practice daily, which is a valuable preventative health measure.

Alternatively, someone who practices only sporadically may enjoy some benefits, but they will not get the full reward of that consistent practice. Having a daily routine can help you through challenging times when you may need it the most or when you are feeling short on time.

Those who practice daily develop resilience to navigate even in the most stressful times. The barrier to taking action has been lowered because of the habit. So you're more likely to do it even when you do not want to because you are so familiar with the rewards and benefits of committed practice.

Healthy Habit: How to Practice Mindfulness in Daily Life

You likely wouldn't dream of leaving the house without brushing your teeth -- the need for mindfulness should become as deeply rooted and habitual as that. Knowing that when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you can turn to your mindfulness practice to reset. Practice need not be complicated or lengthy. A simple daily practice of 5-10 minutes each day resets your mind, regulates emotions, and improves coping skills and resiliency, making it an excellent tool for your life skill toolbox.

Inner Explorer's mindfulness is rooted in research and adheres to mindfulness-based stress reduction protocol, which is considered the gold standard and mindfulness. Our program includes 180 days of practice to match the average number of days in a given school year. The sequence begins with introductory practices like breath and body awareness before moving into more abstract concepts, like emotional thought, awareness, gratitude, and empathy.

You'll also find shorter transition and sound practices to supplement the daily routine for those times that someone may wish to have a minute or two to regroup in the middle of the day.

Because people are busy, it's best to make practice simple, streamlined, and achievable, which is why Inner Explorer's press and play audio program is so helpful in forming a regular practice.

5 Lifechanging Benefits of Daily Mindfulness Practice

A daily mindfulness habit is a game-changer for all who practice, and the rewards and benefits are numerous. Consider the 5 lifechanging rewards below:

  • Reduces stress for a healthier body and mind
  • Promotes positive behavior and emotional regulation
  • Increases kindness, compassion, and empathy to foster more connective relationships
  • Improves executive functioning for better choice and decision making
  • Masters the art of being present to experience our lives more fully

These rich benefits contribute to a healthy lifestyle in which we are fully present to create memories, and experience awe, wonder, and joy when we are mindfully living our lives.

If all that sounds appealing, It may be time to establish your own practice.

Need Help Developing a Daily Mindfulness Routine?

You'll be pleased to know that Inner Explorer's mindfulness program can help, and it's extraordinarily easy to implement. It's an audio-guided program which requires no preparation or training for teachers or counseling staff. Press play and be present; that's all it takes. Experience a few moments of mindfulness for yourself.

One of the best ways to establish a habit is to embark on a guided mindfulness journey by participating in the 21-Day Quest. For those who participate fully in the quest, they practice on average 80 percent or more of the time.

Research has shown that in order to experience the benefits of mindfulness, practicing consistently is fundamental. Features of the 21-day Quest include:

  • Daily email reminders and inspiration to motivate school staff and students.
  • Free printable calendar to help you track your process.
  • Certificate of completion after successfully completing the Quest.

To begin the 21-Day Quest, log in to your Inner Explorer account and click the ribbon icon in the upper right corner of your Practice page.

For more on mindfulness and mental health, click here.

Now that you know how to practice mindfulness in daily life; it's an ideal time to begin.

To your health and wellness!