“Everything you need, your courage, strength, compassion and love; everything you need is already within you,” unknown.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is all about being more aware of your surroundings and your thoughts and feelings. By noticing these, you can improve your mental wellbeing. This awareness helps us to enjoy life more and understand ourselves better.
It’s very easy for us to stop noticing the world around us and to lose touch with our emotions. Often we end up caught up in our thoughts, without stopping to notice how these feelings are affecting our lives.
Mindfulness is all about reconnecting with our bodies and sensations that we can experience. Something as simple as stepping back and smelling your morning coffee and reminding yourself to enjoy the little things.
It’s about learning to live in the present day. To feel each moment and to enjoy it for what it is. When we look at these moments clearly we are able to positively change the way we see ourselves.
How can you be more mindful?
Simply reminding yourself to take more notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step towards mindfulness.
Take notice | Make sure you notice the everyday. The little things. The things that you do or see every day but never really pay attention to. Like watching the birds in the sky, the food you eat, the journey you walk. Anything that you would normally do on ‘auto-pilot’ instead take a moment to appreciate it. No matter how small.
View your thoughts | As if you were watching a movie, watch your thoughts in action. This doesn’t have to mean you jump into these thoughts, but simply watch them go by. All of the negative emotions you may be experiencing and the overwhelming day-to-day worries going on your head are the reason you need to be more mindful. But it’s important to remember that being mindful isn’t about wiping away these feelings, but simply about realising these are thoughts and not happenings.
Try something new | Even something as simple as reading a book or joining a gym class can help you be more mindful. It will help you relax more and to enjoy something for yourself.
Realise your thoughts | An important part of overcoming anxiety is by recognising when it arises. Note the times where you feel scared or worried about something and tell yourself that ‘this is anxiety’. Part of being mindful is about recognising what upsets you and naming it.
Free yourself | It’s a simple note, but how are you supposed to move on and feel at one with yourself, if you haven’t let go of your past. Your past is your past for a reason, and no matter how tough it has been, you shouldn’t let it define your future. It’s so easy to feel trapped by re-living your past, but it’s good to realise this and move on.
Set yourself a time | Set aside some time every day to practise being more mindful. Often people find it more beneficial to set aside time at the same point in their day in order to feel more mindful. This could be your lunch break at work or during a soak in the tub. Whenever the time you choose to gather your thoughts, try to relax and breathe your way through it.
Yoga | If you fancy trying something that is a physical way of adding mindfulness into your life, then why not give yoga a go? Some people find this a great way of relaxing and processing their thoughts.
Click here for a great bedtime yoga routine…
How do you practise mindfulness? Do you have any tips and tricks to relax?