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Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a popular new term
that you may have come across.

It can sound intimidating but it’s actually very simple. It’s basic idea is to be here, now.


What makes being mindful of the present moment helpful to our lives?

Illustration of a mandala flower
 
  • Mindfulness makes us worry less. This is especially true if we have been through something scary or stressful. Mindfulness gives our mind a break from thinking about the past and worrying about the future. Mindfulness makes us focused on what we can really control and change – this moment.
     
  • Mindfulness helps us focus. Mindfulness IS about focusing on what’s here, now. When our minds are no longer going all over the place, we’re more effective with whatever we’re doing.
     
  • We become better friends. One of the best gifts we can give someone we love is our full, undivided attention. Friends, family and other people would really feel the difference if they notice we’re really listening and focused on them.
     
  • It helps us not to sweat the small stuff. We spend a lot of our day reacting to things that are usually not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Mindfulness helps us gain perspective on what really matters and what doesn’t. 
     
  • We become more aware of our surroundings. Most of us spend a lot of our time in our heads so we usually fail to notice what’s going on around us. Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our surroundings – so we notice more of the beauty of things, as well as possible things to watch out for.
 

Here’s how you can be mindful, today:

Illustration of a face with eyes closed and smile
 
  • Do one thing at a time – say no to multitasking. Studies suggest that only 2% of the world’s population can successfully multitask. Most of us, really, are more effective doing one thing at a time!
     
  • Don’t reach for your phone when there’s a notification straight away.  Our phones are our biggest distractors. Notification pings are rarely true emergencies – that status update from someone can wait.
     
  • Relish every bite. We rarely eat these days without staring at some screen or rushing to what’s next. Try focusing, enjoying and relishing what you’re eating. Chew slowly, notice all the flavours, and take it slow.
     
  • Try a 1 minute mindfulness break. Whenever you need a break, try sitting mindfully. Look around you and observe everything you can see – the room, furniture, the walls, the window and whatever’s outside. Notice how your body feels in that moment. Do you feel relaxed or tense? Just notice what you can, then go about your day. This is a great way to reset your mind, especially if it feels like it’s getting too busy.
     
  • Walk mindfully. Whenever you’re walking, don’t just try and get to your destination. Try and observe everything around you as you walk. Notice people –  Do they look happy or stressed? Notice your surroundings – what can you see? Can you hear the birds? How do your feet feel as they hit the ground?
     
  • Listen to your body. Check in on your body and see what it needs. Are you stressed? Maybe a bath will help. Sleepy? Take that nap. Sluggish? Do a simple stretch or some star jumps.
 
“When you’re not present, your mind darts all over the place: fretting about the past, worrying about the future, and distracting you from whatever is going on right now. After all, the past is done and dusted, and those worries of the future may never come to fruition, so in a purely practical sense, thinking about it is a waste of time.”
— Gala Darling (Blogger, Author and Boss Lady, galadarling.com)



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