Mindfulness seems to be the wellbeing buzz word of 2019. Working in the line of wellbeing, I’ve noticed it’s becoming a more recognised and practiced method to better manage anxiety and stress. It’s also now more widely accepted that everyone experiences some form of stress or anxious thoughts during their daily life, and that it’s okay to feel that way, and that there are ways you can help manage how you feel.
There are lots of different ways to practice mindfulness, but in a nut shell it’s about concentrating on the present moment.- Living in the here and now, rather than thinking about the past or the future. Which can often fill us with dread. Or if you’re like me… you’re laying awake in bed remembering some stupid thing you said 10+ years ago, instead of lying there getting some much needed sleep.
Try honing in on one sense, which often gets neglected in our busy lives… See, touch, taste, smell & hear more deeply.
Notice the little things like the wind or birds chirping, have you been noticing the change in the seasons?
Ways to live in the present:
- Eat without distractions (no TV!), this allows you to think about the food your eating and appreciate the taste and texture of your food.
- Sit on a bench, and just watch and listen to the world around you.
- Take 10 deep breathes, concentrating on your slow inhales and exhales.
- Take a moment to feel your clothes on your skin, or rub your index finger and thumb together. Concentrate on the touch.
What are the benefits?
Mindfulness allows you to focus your mind which: lowers your heart rate, can improve sleep, reduce chronic pain and has so many more benefits! Practicing it often can help you calm down or relieve stress you might experience more intensely without mindfulness.
Anywhere & undetected
You can also practice most forms of mindfulness anywhere; the tube, in a meeting (not the whole time though!), shopping, and most people wouldn’t be able to tell you’re having a mindful moment for you.
Try to be mindful for a few minutes several times a day. Routined mindfulness allows quick and effective mindful thoughts when you are experience stress.
Since practicing mindfulness a bit more frequently in my life, I feel more relaxed on a whole. And when those stressful moments, like meetings or job interviews come up, taking a quiet moment help me regain focus and calm down. Arriving early to things you know will be stressful, can help you keep a cool head before you walk through the door.
There are so many ways to be mindful which means you can find something that really interests and works for you.