In recent years, mindfulness has become incredibly popular as people look to find a balance between being peaceful and their busy lives.
You may have heard many things about being mindful, and you may think it means sitting on the floor meditating for endless hours. While you can sit and meditate for endless hours, the great thing about mindfulness is that it can be exactly what you want, when you want.
You can practice mindfulness for two minutes or two hours a day, whatever feels comfortable for you. “Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future,” according to the Mental Health Foundation. It’s about taking time, to appreciate the moment, you may want to sit silently and listen to the noise the world go by, or notice the smells around you.
Research has shown that people who practice mindfulness see positive changes in their lives, with improvements in their wellbeing, concentration levels and their ability to enjoy themselves.
We have gathered seven quick tips to help you practice mindfulness.
- Stop what you’re doing and take time to notice your breathing. Listen to your breathing, and you’ll soon be aware of the rise and fall of your body as you breathe in and out.
- Take time to sit in the garden or perhaps a park during your lunch break. Sit somewhere peaceful and just notice the nature around you, the sounds of the birds or the way the grass moves in the wind.
- The smells around you can help you feel positive about your day. This can include the freshly baked bread from the bakery on the way to work or the scent of flowers as you pass a garden or a florist..
- Take a moment to think about when you zone out. This may be while emailing, texting or doing the washing. Next time you do that activity, practise being more aware of it. Breathe slowly and concentrate on the task.
- If you are taking a walk, don’t worry or feel stressed about your destination. Tune in to how your body moves as you put one step in front of another.
- Each evening, plan the next day. Take time to prioritise what is important. This will avoid a stressful rush in the morning, meaning you can take time to enjoy your environment. This may include breakfast with your partner or family, or catching a later train to avoid the rush hour.
- Enjoy me time. One of the great benefits of mindfulness is that it allows you to enjoy some quiet time with yourself and your thoughts. With the demands of busy lives, this can easily be forgotten.