The internet is full of information about mindfulness. Below are three common approaches that can help you become more mindful.
One practice that mindfulness often emphasizes is focused breathing. Simple instructions by Thich Nhat Hanh are provided below. Focused breathing helps one to become centered and to work more effectively with their emotional lives. It is used to reduce stress and promote calmness.
Observing your thoughts and feelings
Observing your thoughts and feelings can help keep them from overtaking you. It involves stepping back from them and noticing that you are having them as "things" in themselves. Being curious about thoughts and feelings can help you to have them as an "experience" rather than simply becoming lost in them. "I'm having a lot of fear thoughts right now." Notice how big they are, whether they are familiar or seem old. Notice the qualities...the aliveness or dullness of the fear thoughts and feelings. By observing you move yourself away from reacting.
Separating yourself from your thoughts and feelings is not something you need to do all the time, but it can become important when feelings are overwhelming. Here are two common strategies made popular by Marsha Linehan.
Leaves on a stream
Radical Acceptance is accepting things as they are without judging them. It requires what Marsha Linehan calls "turning the mind" from willfulness (fighting the realities of life) to willingness (accepting them). This can be hard to do. Essentially it means dropping the extensive judging and "stewing" many of us do over things that "are". It has to do with detachment from emotional over-involvement, which is what mindfulness is all about. Alcholics Anonymous has long talked about the importance of acceptance in their literature. Perhaps they got there first (at least in the US).
Radical acceptance does not mean that you approve, like, or embrace whatever is happening, or find it easy to do so. Radical acceptance means accepting life on life’s own terms regardless of your sentiment about it, and finding effective strategies to cope and eventually appreciate whatever is happening. Radical acceptance also doesn't mean passivity, but rather accepting "what is" while simultaneously doing what is effective in the moment.
Ultimately radical acceptance means dropping paralzying thoughts and judgments like: "This is awful. It can't be happening to me" or "I must be a bad person if this happened." It is radical because it is detaching from the emotional judgments and accepting the realities that must be dealt with.