Mindfulness is a mental state or gentle meditation brought about by focussing your mind on the present moment. You calmly accept and acknowledge, without judgement, your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Don’t fixate on them – just let them wash over you and stay in the present.
Some people use mindfulness to reduce stress, enhance relaxation, reduce anxiety and depression or just as a part of a healthy balanced approach to life.
Small mindfulness activities done daily help to focus the mind. With practice it becomes a more natural thing to do. You don’t need to find extra time to spend “meditating” everyday.
There are lots of mindfulness exercises you can incorporate into your normal day.
Here are a few top tips you can try everyday to practice mindfulness:
- Pause before you begin you day – While having your morning shower, take a few deep breaths and scan through your body from head to toe. Where do you feel tension? Acknowledge the sounds and smells around you. You just need to take a moment to notice these things and acknowledge them but don’t focus on them. This should all only take a couple of minutes.
- Take a Break – We all need to eat during the day but how many of us stop work or rushing about after the kids or watching TV to really devote our attention to what we are eating? Try taking a mouth full of food and as you chew (slowly) acknowledge the changes in taste, texture, temperature, smell of the food. Imagine you are tasting in for the first time. You can then eat lunch as normal. You’ll be surprised by what you notice if you just pause to smell the coffee or panini or whatever else your lunch involves.
- Visualize – Important meeting coming up, busy day with too many tasks and too few hours? Try to visualize how you want that part of the day to turn out. Take that focus with you into whatever it is you’re doing.
- Walk – Whether you can find 5 minutes at lunch, a walk about the park while the kids play, even nipping to the shop for milk, just walk. Slow it down a little and take time to acknowledge the sights, changing light, sounds that you usually miss. Put down your phone, stop thinking about what lies ahead for the rest of the day and just be there – in the moment.