How to Be Mindful When Reading Mindfulness Articles

Every tiny action that you take in a day is an opportunity to be mindful. Drinking coffee. Brushing your teeth. Waiting in line. Flushing the toilet. If you can bring yourself to be really present in these moments, then life’s mundanities and unpleasantries will be revealed to you as the treasures they truly are.

You’ve probably heard this before. You probably see stories and tips about mindfulness online every day. But did you realize that reading these articles is also an opportunity to be mindful? How many people spend their lunch breaks and commutes mindlessly clicking on these links? If you do it mindfully, instead, clicking on a link can also mean clicking on happiness. Here’s how:

  • Take a moment to really notice the screen on which you’re surfing the web. Is it dirty? Cracked? Feel the brightness of the blue light against the rods and cones of your retina.
  • Relax the muscles of your clicking finger.
  • Move your cursor to the link. Deliberately press down with your finger on the screen, the trackpad, or the mouse. Physically feel the click in your body. Experience the choice to read this content as a sensation.
  • Begin to read. Feel your eyeballs as they swivel from side to side across the lines of text. Cherish the motion.
  • Take a deep breath, in and out. Keep your breath consistent and flowing, no matter how annoyed you get with the content telling you to savor the minutiae of boring things.
  • Read the words. No, really read them.
  • Scroll down the page, using a trackpad, the arrow keys, the clicky wheel in the center of a mouse, or just your finger on a screen. Be grateful for all the different ways humanity has invented to scroll.
  • Savor the message. This is a time to be meditating on how you could be meditating more.
  • How does this content make you feel? Sit in those feelings.
  • Take a moment to appreciate all this article is doing for you—not only informing you, but creating a small oasis away from your life, allowing you to procrastinate whatever you were meaning to do before you clicked.
  • Contemplate the vastness of the sea of content online, and feel how truly small you are in comparison.
  • Ask yourself, did this content spark joy? If not, close the tab.
Julie Beck is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers health and psychology. Reprinted from