Many of us lead busy lives, constantly running from moment to moment. That is life – we have demands from all different directions that sometimes it’s hard to stop and smell the roses. However, it is important to take the time to slow back down and being mindful of the present.
Mindfulness is essentially just appreciating and living in the “now”. It’s about being completely engaged and in tune with your surroundings, your mind, your body and your senses.
Mindfulness doesn’t come naturally for all of us, but here are some tips that can help you get started!
- Go outside
We tend to undervalue the importance of nature and fresh air and the positive affect it has on our mind. It doesn’t mean taking a road trip down to Margaret River (although that sounds pretty great too), it could be as simple as a walk down to the local park, visit some nice walking trails, going for a dip in the ocean – anything outdoors. Take a moment to look around, what do you see? What can you smell? What can you hear? What does the sun feel like? What does the wind feel like? Take it all in.
This one does take practice, but why not start? Meditation is a way of taking the time to connect with your mind. It involves controlled breathing and a way of putting external distractions aside. There are plenty of apps to help you start the journey of meditation, and in time, your ability to relax and elevate stress will be enriched.
Stop what you’re doing. Put everything down. And breathe. Take a few minutes away from your busy day to stop and focus your breath. INHALE through your nose for 3 seconds… and EXHALE through your mouth for 3 seconds. Do this a few times until you feel the stress and tension in your shoulders, in your face, and in your mind alleviate from your body.
When practicing mindfulness, it is important to let the feelings that you’re feeling at that particular time in. Don’t block them out or avoid. Feel, process, embrace and accept them. React to those emotions appropriately, cry if you want to, smile, laugh, sigh or even scream (maybe do this one privately ha-ha). Acknowledgement of what emotions you are feeling is a healthy approach to being mindful.
- Eat mindfully
When was the last time you had something to eat? Did you truly appreciate it or were you in a rush? Life is busy so it’s understandable. But I urge you to try and slow down and eat your next meal purposefully. Have a look at the colour and texture, what do you see? Smell the food, does it smell sweet or bitter? Take time to chew each mouthful, really ensuring you’re taking in the flavours. Appreciate every bite and tune into your awareness of the food.
Mindful Apps you might like to check out: