When mindfulness is associated with the teachings ofmeditation gurus and distinguished yogis, it can seem a daunting practice tounderstand.

The fact is, however, that mindfulness is an exceedinglysimple exercise undertaken each day by millions of people, consciously andunconsciously. Simply put- it is the practice of active awareness andrecognition of the pure present moment, and nothing else.

Psychologists often refer to the “flow state” experienced bypeople who become so involved in an activity that they lose sense of time andtheir surroundings. Not surprisingly, these people are reported to be happier,healthier and more productive when they engaged regularly in such activities.

This involved engagement is exactly what mindfulness is allabout- and you don’t have to be a yogi, a scientist or a monk to learn how tointegrate it into your day.

You can begin right now with 5 simple steps:

1. Declare IntentionsOften
This can be as simple as waking up in the morning andstating to no one in particular- “I am going to be calm and productive today.”The idea is to live in each moment with a specific goal or mindset instead ofrushing through the entire day, which leaves you aimless and exhausted.

2. Use Your Breath
Breathe deeply in focused intervals throughout your day.This practice takes very little time and effort and it allows you to anchoryour mind and body in the present instead of worrying about past actions orfuture obligations.

3. Engage Yourself
Immerse yourself in challenging activities that engage themind and body simultaneously (yoga, for example). These activities help youlive fully in the present and have the greatest potential to help you unlockthat “flow state.”

4.  Practice Gratitude
Mental health professionals frequently encourage theirpatients to practice extended gratitude for things usually taken for granted(like air, food and water). This mindset awakens the ability to see everythingfor what it is in the here and now.

5. Be Present withOthers
Remind yourself often that you are part of the whole humanrace. Be present in your interactions with others. For example- limittechnological distractions and leave the electronic communications alone untilall face-to-face human communication is completed.

Mindfulness, as a practice, is only as complicated as youmake it. Breathe deep, live lightly and try only for a simple awareness ofeveryday living. This seemingly small mindset can go a long way in helpingindividual happiness!