The frantic pace of most of our lives cannot only leave us feeling stressed, rushed and anxious, but it can also mean we forget to take a moment to simply … be.
Many of us have lost the ability to actually experience the life we’re living; instead we are constantly waiting, planning or worrying about the next thing on our to-do list or dwelling on the past.
When was the last time you took time away from your desk or mobile phone to savour the taste of your lunch. Or the lat time you walked down the street observing the scenery without checking your phone?
Mindfulness is a practice of awareness. It’s a technique for learning to become more aware of :
- Your thoughts
- Your emotions
- Your body
- The world around you
It is not something you achieve overnight, it is a habit which is developed gradually over time. The best approach is to take baby steps. Start by picking one or two opportunities to treat with a mindful attitude everyday. For instance, when cleaning your teeth notice every sensory detail.
As we all have a non-stop stream of information from our mobiles, computers and TVs which can be overwhelming, a good idea would be to make sure you have a break from time to time. Turn off and put away your devices and give yourself time off from the endless technological invasion of your life.
Practice Mindful Listening – We often find that when we listen to others we are concentrating on what to say next, filling up our minds with our own opinions or even speaking out of turn. Try listening with mindfulness – hear the person without judgement or the need to immediately express a view. Be completely present, look at the person not at your mobile or watch.
Breathe Into Your Belly – Take a moment to ‘belly breathe’ for instant calm. Breathe in deeply, allowing your stomach to expand and rise. On the out-breath allow your stomach to fall back and pull in your belly button. Thinking about your breathe is the easiest and simplest way to be mindful and a few deep breaths is instantly calming.