We asked our expert speakers what their advice is for anyone who is looking to develop their meditation and mindfulness practice. 

Just the intention of wanting to improve your practise means you already have! But my big tip would be: take the practise off the cushion and challenge yourself, Mindfulness is great in action, in everyday life. We can have a solid practise, but if we can’t mindfully navigate through issues with people and difficult circumstances then we’re not getting the full benefit.

Nikki Collins, Well Being Consultant Max Mindpower Tips to enhance your practice
Be consistent and constant. That really is the key for me. Mindfulness is a cumulative, progressive practise, the more you practice it the more benefit you will derive from it.
Jo Howarth, The Happiness Lady The Happiness Club Tips to enhance your practice

I believe in ‘mindful moments’, a way we can take minutes out our day to come into our body and breath and be curious about our physical and emotional sensations. This helps us cultivate a mindful attitude and connect to ourselves in new, interesting ways.

Josie Sensier, Group Development and Community Engagement Coordinator Manchester Psychological Wellbeing Service | Self Help Services Tips to enhance your practice

“You don’t have to enjoy mindfulness, you just have to do it.” - Jon Kabat Zinn

Victoria Algar, Mental Health Clinical Locality Manager Manchester Psychological Wellbeing Service | Self Help Services Tips to enhance your practice

Decide what really matters to you – and reconnect with a sense of that at the start of every day, to inspire your practice.

Trish Bartley, Mindfulness Teacher Trainer Centre for Mindfulness, Research and Practice, Bangor University Tips to enhance your practice

For me, it is to bring variety to your mindfulness practice to keep it fresh. The reason I wrote my book: 100 Mindfulness Meditations was because I wanted something like a recipe book of practices to choose from. In this way I can find practices which are resonant for me every day and this keeps me coming back for more. The aim is for mindfulness to become a beautiful resource that supports you through the ups and the downs. 

Neil Seligman, Founder The Conscious Professional Tips to enhance your practice

There are so many possible benefits of mindfulness that for me it has been useful to let go of any expectation as to what might happen, and simply to enjoy being mindful.  For example, when I used to think that I “should” meditate because “it is good for me” I never used to do it. So now I meditate simply because it is pleasant to sit down and focus on my breathing, and in particular to practice one of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s beautiful guided meditations. Sometimes I feel more relaxed and happier, and sometimes the insights and subsequent healing and transformation are life changing. Sometimes nothing much happens at all!  Whatever the outcome, it is pleasant just to take time out of the day to rest, recharge and refocus myself.  In other words, I practice mindfulness purely because it makes me happy to place my attention on the present moment. It is very simple, if you let it be.

Katie Sheen, Teacher, Speaker and Founder Soul Nutrition Tips to enhance your practice

If you don't meditate daily, then make a commitment to yourself to spend some time every day (5mins, 20mins, 1hr) to sit with however things are for you at that time – busy, quiet, peaceful, chaotic – just be with it.

Mark Westmoquette, Mindfulness & yoga teacher Zenways Tips to enhance your practice

Get familiar with the four stage the model in the book #whatismindfulness. Use this to help you refine your awareness of being present versus getting lost.

Explicitly bring your mindfulness into your daily living and working practices.

Mix up your practices and periodically try those you prefer less, or struggle with.

Be playful in your practice.

Tamara Russell, Mindfulness Trainer & Innovator Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, London Tips to enhance your practice

Bring lightheartedness and playfulness to your practice. When we get too serious, our meditation practice can become rigid and not very enjoyable. My top tip is smiling every time you catch your mind wandering off during meditation. This way, when you have a very busy mind you won't stop smiling.

Andy Hobson, Meditation Teacher Mindfulness For All Tips to enhance your practice

Be kind to yourself, don't strive for results, and maintain a gentle sense of humour.

Jenny Wilks, Insight Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher Gaia House Retreat Centre & Exeter University Tips to enhance your practice

Sign up to a mindfulness practice day or afternoon with a trained teacher, you will have the benefit of practicing in a group, learn some new material, reboot your practice and reconnect with your local mindfulness practitioners.

Jo Bentley, Mindfulness Teacher & Trainer Mindful Outlook Tips to enhance your practice

Add compassion-focused meditations to your practice and try not to be put off by any initial resistances or fears about, for example, being self-compassionate. Blocks and fears to compassion are very common and understandable, and can highlight that compassion and care have been missing in our lives. Some of the practices in compassion-focused therapy are particularly designed to help people who have missed out on such care, and who find receiving or giving compassion difficult. There are lots of good books on the subject, particularly by Prof. Paul Gilbert (the originator of compassion-focused therapy), or you can check out the Compassionate Mind Foundation charity: https://compassionatemind.co.uk

Tobyn Bell, Therapist, Trainer& Author Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust & Compassionate Mind Foundation Tips to enhance your practice

I love that we are all different and find our ‘method’ that works for us as individuals. What I do recommend for anyone who hasn’t yet tried it is finding a group that you enjoy and feel safe in, even if you just go occasionally.  Group processes can reflect so much of ourselves back to us that we normally don’t get to see, and can amplify our experience so we really get a sense of our habitual ways of responding or repetitive thought patters and beliefs.  We have the opportunity to experience being supported by the group, and supporting others, and being challenged in our ‘stuck-ness’ kindly. Remembering to ‘make time’ for your SELF….every day.

Annabelle Apsion, Embodied Awareness - Bodywork Teacher & Co Founder of Rosen Method Therapy and Training in the UK Rosen Method Therapy and Training Ltd Tips to enhance your practice

Always practice with the attitude of a beginner. Be curious as you explore and forgive yourself when you make mistakes.

Sita Brand, Story & Mindfulness Coach & Trainer Settle Stories Tips to enhance your practice

One way that helps me to come back to the present moment and be mindful of the reality of now is to run through a few of my senses. So focus on one thing you can hear, one thing you can see, smell, feel. This helps you to bring your attention away from whatever thoughts you’re having and focuses it on your experience of the world as it is at this moment.

Gabrielle Treanor, Writer, teacher & worry expert Gabrielle Treanor Tips to enhance your practice

Make the present moment your practice.

Neil Hayes, Psychologist and Technologist Buddha Mind Limited Tips to enhance your practice

Maintain an open mind in your quest for enhancement.  There is no one ‘right’ way to develop or enhance mindfulness.  Look around and find an approach that resonates for you.  Be a wise buyer of mindfulness books and taught programs – some approaches are better researched than others, others may have be less well known or researched but may become the mindfulness best practice of the future.  That said, beware of the ever increasing numbers of cowboys jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon -  just because it says mindfulness on the tin, does not mean it’s really mindfulness!  Be discerning and trust your gut instinct.

Juliet Adams, Mindfulness at work author, teacher, coach and mentor A Head for Work Tips to enhance your practice

I find it helpful to focus on my feet and the steps I’m talking when I’m walking – opposite end to the head!

Suzy Glaskie, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach Peppermint Wellness Tips to enhance your practice

Don’t try too hard to deepen or enhance your mindfulness practice. We can get caught  up in striving to be better meditators or to have a deep and meaningful experience. Just do the practices when you can  and see what unfolds for you. There are lots of surprises and delights in store.

Markus Greenwood, CEO and Mindfulness Lead Mind in Salford Tips to enhance your practice

If you haven’t already, go on an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course with a UK Network listed Mindfulness Teacher. 

If you’re struggling to get into the habit or maintain your mindfulness practice then perhaps start small; begin with 5-10mins of whatever practice you are drawn to – try and find a regular time slot/space that will work for you on a daily basis so that you can cultivate and build your practice. 

Attend Silent Practices days delivered by UK Network listed teachers in your area – these often take place at weekends and usually cost between £20-£30 for the day; it’s a great way to immerse yourself and reboot your mindfulness practice, plus for those of us who are teachers you can always learn something enriching from other mindfulness teachers.

Suzanne Farrell, Mindfulness Teacher & Coordinator Mind in Salford Tips to enhance your practice

As Joseph Goldstein says about mindfulness practice: "just show up". In other words, don't even worry about what will happen when you get to the cushion; just get there, take a moment to sit quietly and see what happens.

Richard Burnett, Founder Mindfulness in School's Project Tips to enhance your practice

No surprise here. Use the Streets to practise. That way, travel time can become transformation time. Turn that wander into wonder.

David Pearl, Business innovator, Author, Founder Street Wisdom Tips to enhance your practice

Write a few word about your experience after each practice and read it back after a few weeks. 

Dominique Antiglio, Sophrologist, Author, Mum BeSophro & The Sophrology Network Tips to enhance your practice

Practice with very simple things…(the dishes). It can turn a chore into a beautiful experience. 

Kate Forrester, Sophrologist and Creativity Coach The Happy and Creative Life & The Sophrology Network Tips to enhance your practice

Give yourself permission to listen and create regular ring fenced time for it.  Have willingness to release detrimental aspects and determination to implement change.

Lise McNamara, Occupational Therapist, Kinesiologist, Well-Being and Working Environment Facilitator McNamara Focus representing Kinesiology Federation Tips to enhance your practice

In our increasingly speedy and distracted world that values multitasking and even rewards people for living in a highly stressful manner, my top tip is to learn to slow down and reconnect with your body and breathing. Most of us tend to live in our minds and this overly cerebral focus sidesteps the body and its innate wisdom. We become addicted to our thinking even believing that our thoughts are facts we should act on. When I'm teaching mindfulness I often  draw a diagram of the Triangle of Awareness emphasizing the interconnection between mind, body and emotions, and how training in mindfulness is learning to pay attention differently, not only with our minds, but also with our bodies and feelings.

Erica Rayner-Horn, Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher, Speaker & Founder Awake & Alive Mindful Living Retreats – Mindful Therapy Tips to enhance your Practice