Posted on August 23, 2019
A beginner’s guide to mindfulness
A busy routine filled with work and family commitments can take its toll on your mental wellbeing. Taking a moment to consider your thoughts, feelings and the world around you can boost your mood – a practice that is known as mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means being aware of both ourselves and our surroundings in the moment. When we are busily rushing around, it can be easy to lose touch with our feelings and stop noticing things around us.
Mindfulness encourages you to reconnect with your emotions, and appreciate what your body is experiencing in the current moment, whether that’s a sight, sound, smell or taste. Quite simply, it means taking time to be more aware of how we feel and what is happening right now.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
By paying closer attention to your thoughts and feelings, you will be able to handle any negative emotions better. In turn, being more mindful can help to ease the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness encourages you to appreciate things you may have previously taken for granted, and enjoy the moment rather than worrying about the future. By putting aside some time each day to practise mindfulness, you can find a spot of calm in your busy schedule, and become better equipped to handle whatever the day brings.
How can I practise mindfulness?
You can practise mindfulness at home or at work, throughout the day and whatever you are doing. It doesn’t require a formal class, and won’t cost a penny.
Begin by paying more attention to the experiences you have each day. This could mean savouring the food you eat, noticing the movement of your body, or becoming more aware of the view from your window. This will help you to be more present in the moment.
Set aside a regular time to focus on becoming more mindful, perhaps during your daily commute, or whilst out walking. This will help you to practise mindfulness each day, without interrupting your routine.
Many people find that taking a break from being busy only causes their mind to be filled with negative thoughts and worries. Mindfulness is not about silencing these thoughts, but recognising them as things that will pass.
Most importantly, focus on the here and now rather than the past or the future. Becoming more mindful can help free you from stresses and worries that can begin to take over your mind.
Mindfulness and yoga
Yoga is closely linked to mindfulness, and provides a way to put your mindfulness into action as you focus on your breathing and the movements of your body. Find out more about the benefits of yoga here.