Mindfulness Without Formal Meditation

With more awareness about the health benefits of meditation and mindfulness, many people would like to start practicing mindfulness on a daily basis. But some people don’t know how to go about it. Or they can’t find the time to designate for it. The good news is that mindfulness doesn’t necessarily require a formal meditation practice. And mindfulness without formal meditation is something you can learn to do in just about every situation.

eating cereal

In this post well discuss a couple of ways you can add some mindfulness to your life when you feel like it.


“It is easy to eat without tasting,” writes Jon Kabat-Zinn in Meditation Is Not What You Think. That’s because your mind is usually somewhere else.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can train yourself to bring awareness to the food on your plate, your sensations as you bring the spoon closer to your mouth, and the taste of the food as you consume it.

Sounds strange? Here’s a download – based on Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness – that guides you through such an exercise. You’re pretty much guaranteed to have a meal that you’ve never tasted before!


Walking is a great time to bring your attention to what you’re doing as you do it. You can find guided audio prompts for this on an app like Headspace. Or you can just try and notice for yourself as you focus your attention and awareness on your body and sensations while walking.

Mindfulness without formal meditation is very doable and you may feel more energized and present after just a few minutes of it. If you find the examples helpful, you can learn to bring this kind of awareness into almost anything you do.

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