With the stresses of life, it's all too easy to have our mind stuck in worries and fears casting us into a negative spiral.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing. By taking time each day to keep your awareness focused on what we are doing in the present moment, we bring in more peace and calm, and we take our minds away from worrying. Ive been incorporating mindfulness into my life, and especially my work, over the past few years, and its made the world of difference in my mood, productivity and general wellbeing.
Here are a few simple mindfulness practices to easily bring into your day to day life. I hope you enjoy them!
When you wake up in the morning, whats the first thing you do? Do you reach for your mobile and start scrolling? Or immediately think of your long to do list? Try starting the day by taking a few deep breaths to centre your mind and feel into the sensations in your body. As you get ready for your day, try to stay present. In the shower, listen to the sound of the water flowing and smell the products you are using. Feel how your body is feeling as you do this. You can do this through your morning tasks like brushing teeth and doing your make up. Hold off checking emails or social media until you have eased into the day a little and finished your morning routine. I can guarantee you will go into your day feeling so much calmer and focused!
How often have you eaten a meal whilst watching TV, at your desk or texting on your phone? In our fast paced lives its easy to put eating as just another thing to do in a day and wolf something down without thinking about it. However, incorporating mindful eating into our day helps us slow down, relax and enjoy the pleasure of food, which in turn improves our mood and wellbeing. At work having a proper break and enjoying lunch mindfully will increase productivity. Not only this, our digestive systems are strongly linked to our brains, so by practising mindful eating we can actually improve our digestion and health. Here are some simple tips to follow for mindful eating:
1. When you cook or prepare your food, rather than thinking about what is happening in your day or other distractions, try to focus on what you are doing in that moment. Listen to the sounds of chopping food, take deep breaths and notice the aromas in the air. Try not to rush and enjoy what you are doing.
2. Before eating your meal make sure you are free from distractions such as having your mobile phone next to you or the TV turned on. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your mind and body.
3. Eat your food slowly, enjoying the tastes and savour every mouthful!
Introducing a few mindful moments into your day can help to keep you grounded, calm and focused. Every so often, stop what you are doing and take a moment to sit comfortably. Take a few deep breaths to relax your nervous system, then settle into a steady breathing pace. Simply focus on the breath, and if any thoughts arise just let them go past and bring your awareness back to the breath. Using this practise between busy work tasks or when you are feeling stressed can help calm the mind and bring in more focus for the rest of the day.
Just like eating, every day consists of some walking, whether a long walk to work or for exercise, or just a short walk around your home. How many times have you walked somewhere and not even remembered the journey?
Every step you take is a chance to be mindful. Set the intention to be present, and keep your senses open and aware to what you are feeling. Start by being aware of your body and feet, and how they feel when you touch the ground. If you are outside feel the cold or warmth against your body. Incorporate all of your senses, listening to the sounds around you, being aware of any smells and looking what is around you. Keep a steady and relaxed pace without rushing. Trying scheduling some time regularly to get out for a mindful walk in nature.