Are you in the here and now? Maybe you have heard of mindfulness, or what Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, defines as paying attention to our present experiences with openness and curiosity. There are various techniques to practice mindfulness but here are five easy ways to begin:

1. Notice your breath
Amishi Jha, professor of psychology at the University of Miami recommends turning your attention to the physical sensation of your breath, without trying to control your breathing. This basic step in mindfulness can help you to concentrate easily on your tasks.

2. Try a body scan
Body scan is a technique to return attention to the body. You can practice this by placing attention on one body part at a time, pausing to explore any feelings, then proceeding to other parts of your body.

3. Listen to your surroundings
Mindful listening can be powerful. Set a time for a few minutes and just allow yourself to hear the sounds of the fan or vehicles. The conditions do not have to be perfect. Sitting on a chair in your house can do wonders.

4. Take a mindfulness walk
Walking back and forth on a small area while directing your attention in a specific way can prove to be effective in reducing stress.

5. Practice some loving kindness
The loving kindness practice is all about feeling the love — for yourself and others. Practice affirmations like what Travis M. Spencer, a meditation facilitator, uses during his workshops: “may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be filled with loving kindness.”

We should take a breather from time to time. We can practice mindfulness at home and even use meditation apps. The five ways above are just some of the techniques you can use as you grow calmer and more mindful in your journey.