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Mindfulness and meditation are connected yes. No, you don’t have to sit on the floor legs crossed oommmingg away with zero thoughts in your head.
That was the image I used to conjure up whenever I’d think about meditating. Dull, tiresome and damn right impossible. Like seriously, have you ever tried to COMPLETELY empty your head of thoughts!? You’ll just about get there and be nicely relaxed when that little voice pops up and says:
‘Chips for tea? No Mash. No roasties!…. Stop thinking. Just stop it. It’s not that hard… Ooooohhh I wanna DANCE with somebooddyyy’
Well.. you get my drift. However last year I had a real crack at meditation and while I am still by far a novice, I’ve found something which completely shifted the way I think about it! If you haven’t tried the app Headspace look it up now and give it a whirl!
Anyway, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted – Sorry Whitney. We will always love you! – Mindfulness is more than sitting quietly and relaxed. It is about being present, appreciating the moment and doing things with purpose. So many times we let thoughts come into our head. We consequently mull them over, trying to work them out, subconsciously labelling them as good or bad thoughts.
What Is Mindfulness?
Being Mindful is purposefully being aware of your thoughts, feelings and surroundings without judgement.
And there are so many benefits to practicing Mindfulness. We can gain improved emotion regulation and reduced stress & anxiety – something that’s especially important to me! Mindfulness can help our focus and ultimately enable us to make better informed decisions which lead to improved wellbeing and happiness.
It’s not difficult to start being Mindful but it does take effort, patience and practice. Why not try setting aside 10 minutes of your day to give one of these techniques ago.
Now I can’t promise you a state of complete bliss. Mindfulness is all about bringing your mind to the present moment, with awareness and acceptance that your thoughts will wander but simply acknowledging they’re there and moving them to one side.
- Start with just 5 or 10 minutes in a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.
- Pay attention to your body and posture; feet flat on the floor if possible, upright stable back but not tensed. Just comfortable.
- Now simply breath. Don’t try and control it or force a rhythm which may be your natural reaction. Just allow your breath to come and ago freely while you pay close attention to it.
What smells do you notice? How does the air feel? What can you hear? What can you taste?
The key to mindfulness is to acknowledge, and notice, all these things are there, but not allow your mind to dwell on them. The same practice applies to your thoughts. It’s not about emptying your mind but noticing when your attention has shifting and gently ushering your focus back to your breath.
It’s like guiding a small child down an aisle filled with sweets with Mum or Dad waiting at the end! Of course they will get distracted so we need to support them in regaining their focus.
Top Tips To Be Mindful Daily
- Notice your surroundings
- Take a Moment before Speaking
- Have ‘unplugged’ time each day with no tech or social media – even 30 minutes is a start!
- Give conversations all of your attention. Really listen and hear to what is being said.
- Stop watching the clock
- Give yourself a break and be kind to yourself.
- Make time for self-care
- Maintain a calm, uncluttered space.
- Be conscious of your breathing as much as possible.
Start making 5-10 minutes of mindful reflection such as this part of your day. With practice, consistently and commitment you will soon see great benefits to your wellbeing.
Recommended By Sam
- 10 Steps To Minfulness At MindfulMazing
- 8 Benefits of Mindfulness That Will Improve Your Life At Practical Blog
- 7 Best TED Talks on Mindfulness At Develop Good Habits