Again, mindfulness is actually a skill and an awareness that can be taught, and there are ways to cultivate mindfulness. There's a difference between a formal practice (a mindfulness meditation, for example) and an informal practice. You can do an informal practice while brushing your teeth, taking a shower or drinking your coffee — just do it in a mindful way. You might start 60 seconds a day, that's all you have to do to begin a mindfulness practice.
Let’s consider a mindful shower. Think about when you're actually in the shower. You're thinking about your day, you're thinking about what's coming up. What are you going to wear? What do the kids have for breakfast? What time is it? As opposed to that: See if you can really notice in the moment how your body feels. Use all of your senses. What do you smell? Do you smell the aromas in the shower? What do you feel? What do you hear?
You can also cultivate mindfulness through yoga and tai chi, which are examples of movement-based therapies or movement meditations. They have mindfulness as a core component of what they are. For example, if you're in a yoga class, your instructor might say to you, “Come back to what you feel now. What are you thinking? What are you feeling?” In the practice, you're asked to think about your present moment experience. Do you ever get to the end of a yoga class and think, “Oh, I was thinking about my emails”? No, you won’t, because the practice actually helps cultivate awareness.
Yoga, tai chi and walking meditations are all examples of more formal mindfulness practices that can help us cultivate awareness. And we cultivate that so when we really need it in our life, when something really stresses us out or somebody comes at us, we can be more responsive and thoughtful and less reactive. Mindfulness helps us do just this.