What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a technique which can help you manage your mental health. Mindfulness will also teach you ways to gain more enjoyment from life in general.
“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.”
With the help of Mind, we have a few quick tips to help you get to grips with your own mindfulness.
Increase your awareness.
Try turning your attention to what is happening in the present, forget about the past and don’t worry about the future. Instead notice what’s happening in your body, mind and or surroundings. Try to do this in a curious and non-judgemental way.
Three ways to increase your awareness.
- Meditate – Take just five minutes, sit quietly and follow your breath, it can help you feel more conscious and connected for the rest of the day.
- Focus on one thing at a time – Forget about multi-tasking, do one thing at a time, take breaks in between each task and do the best you can.
- Slow Down – Take your time and savour the process, whether it’s writing an essay or even making a cup of tea. Studies have shown that paying thoughtful attention to even the simplest of tasks will help promote a health focus and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Take notice of when your mind wanders and where your thoughts have drifted to, but in doing so avoid getting annoyed with yourself. Instead choose to bring your attention back to the present by focusing on your surroundings and like increasing your awareness try meditating.
Build mindfulness into your daily routines.
Decide on one or two activities each day, where you will aim to practice mindfulness. It could be focusing on the sensations of brushing your teeth or listening to the kettle boil, anything where you can just switch off the ‘noise’ of the rest of the world.
Try a mindfulness exercise.
Try a mindfulness app there are hundreds out there from free ones through to paid subscription ones. Take a look at these ones suggested by the Independent newspaper.
A brilliant mindfulness exercise is colouring. Colouring you say? If you think spending hours colouring is only a childhood pastime? Think again, there’s countless health benefits to colouring in which support mindfulness including:
- Reduced stress and anxiety.
- Improved motor skills and vision.
- Improved sleep.
- Improved focus.
Waterstones even have a whole section of Adult colouring for mindfulness. Or try an app, Colorify is a great example.
And above all, be kind to yourself.
Being kind to yourself doesn’t always come naturally, there’s a reason people say, “you are you own worst enemy”. When practicing mindfulness try not to be critical of yourself, don’t get frustrated or just pack it in because you think it’s not helping. Mindful.org has a five step process to be kinder to yourself:
- Think of a situation in your life that is difficult and causing you stress.
- With the situation in mind, recognise if you feel the stress in your body.
- Say to yourself, “This is a moment of suffering.”
- Say to yourself, “Suffering is a part of life.”
- Put your hands over your heart and say, “may I be kind to myself.”
How do you practice mindfulness? Let us know on our Facebook page.
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