What Exactly Is Mindfulness?
We hear people talk a lot about mindfulness these days, especially in a busy, technology-driven world, but what exactly is it and what can it do for us?
According to the American Mindfulness Research Association, mindfulness is the “state, process and practice of remembering to observe moment-to-moment experience with openness and without automatic patterns of previously conditioned thoughts, emotions or behaviours.”
Put simply, if you want to be mindful, you should take the time to stop and appreciate the moment that you’re in. Calmly and quietly process your emotions, (good or bad), and take note of the way your mind and body feels.
It’s a therapy technique that is believed to calm people in times of stress or help people sit back, relax and fully appreciate a moment of quiet or peace.
Here are 5 little things you can do every day to become more mindful.
Take Time Every Morning
Before you even touch your phone or laptop, take 5 or 10 minutes every morning to be in the moment. Studies have shown that those who practice mindfulness every day are far less likely to experience stress throughout the day.
You don’t have to do much, simply sit in a quiet spot and close your eyes. Think about your emotions, the way your body feels and just be calm. Don’t forget to breathe properly too.
Start off small; 5 minutes each morning, then work your way up to longer periods of meditation as you become more comfortable with the idea.
Take Some Time Out
We all know that skipping breaks can make you less productive at work but it can also affect your mental wellbeing too. Take regular short breaks and allow your brain to rest and refresh. If you work in an office, try to find a quiet spot, (even if it is the toilet), so you can just focus on you.
Re-Focus Your Mind
Emails, text, social media, TV – we’re living in a world of over stimulation and it’s making us more anxious and stressed by the minute. As a population, we suffer from anxiety disorders more now than ever before.
When you find your mind flitting between a million different things, just stop what you’re doing and take a couple of minutes to relax and think about all the things you are grateful for. Think about your home, friends, family, good food – whatever you need to clear your mind.
This type of mindfulness can improve concentration, make it easier to learn new things and helps banish depression.
Be Mindful Of Those Around You
Mindfulness is a solitary, individual activity but it greatly affects the relationships we have with those around us. Before snapping at someone who is rude to you, consider why they might be feeling the way they are. Take the time to help them if they need help, or simply listen if they need an ear.
Being mindful of others helps you to become a more understanding person but also gives others a refreshing experience and something to be thankful for.
Eat For Mindfulness
Food is something to be enjoyed but it is also fuel for our body and mind. In a world where many of us are working longer days and travelling further for work, it can be easy to forget to eat well. Fast food and fizzy drinks do not give us the vitamins we need to stay healthy and hydrated. Chemicals, E numbers and bad fats can all affect our concentration and cause us to lose focus.