You might have been hearing the word ‘Mindfulness’ a lot recently as more and more people catch on to the concept and how beneficial it can be for our health in our fast-paced modern lives. But what really is it? And how can you bring it into your everyday routine? Hopefully we’ll be able to explain that here for you today on the Be-Zing blog, as Mindfulness is one of the key traits that make up our Wellness Wheel and can help you in so many ways.
So, what is it?
Mindful.org describes mindfulness as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.“
Basically, at the speed that life is going, with so many things stimulating your brain whether it’s school, work, mental health, social life, or anything else, it can be easy to forget to slow down and take in your immediate surroundings and look at things from an objective perspective. It’s not something that you have to create yourself; it’s more like an innate ability that everybody has, but of course some people have an easier job tapping into it than others.
Now that we’ve clarified the definition of mindfulness if you weren’t sure, we can move on to some tips to help you seamlessly be mindful in your everyday life.
Think About Your Breathing
Breathing’s something we have to be doing 24/7, all week, for our entire lives. And yet, how much time do you dedicate to focus on how you’re doing it? This can help two-fold. For one thing, with life being so busy these days and so many things trying to grab your attention, many people’s breathing is quite shallow. Focusing on deep, slow breaths can help your body receive more oxygen and naturally lower stress. The other way it can help is simply by slowing your mind down and bringing your attention away from everything going on around you and in your head. Even just one minute per day can help!
Take in Your Surroundings
When you’re out and about, there can be so much going on around you that it all tends to blur together into one big mess, and it can be a bit of a sensory overload. Not the easiest of states to be mindful in! Although it might feel too much you’re often not actually taking much of it in. Next time you get a chance, try to remember, just for a couple of minutes, to slow down. Take a little bit of an inventory of how you’re experiencing each of your senses. What can you see? What can you hear? Try to break these things down into their individual components. It could be during something as simple as eating your favourite food- really think about how great it smells, its texture in your mouth and how delicious it is. You’ll find that taking a step back like this isn’t something many of us do enough and it can really boost your enjoyment of the little things in life!
Take Some Time Out of Your Day
It’s definitely easy to get caught up in your responsibilities to school, work, friends, and family, and sometimes having so much on your plate can feel a little bit paralysing in its own way. However, it helps to have a designated time of your day (it could be as little is 5 minutes or as long as an hour) to take a step back from the things that are on your mind, and simply be in the present. You don’t have to be doing anything, simply get into a position that feels comfortable for you and take in your surroundings, allowing feelings and emotions to float by you; acknowledge, but don’t dwell. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but you’ll soon notice how energising it can be just to have a period of time where you can be in the here-and-now.
Keep a Journal
Journaling is another great way to take the contents of your mind. Plans, worries, random thoughts and problems, can all benefit from a look from a different perspective. Writing things down is a great way to track your progress and be mindful of how far you’ve come. What seems like a huge problem today may actually not be so difficult to overcome when you compare it to other things you’ve achieved and gotten through, emerging stronger on the other side! Putting pen to paper can help negative thoughts from lingering in your head and help you to move on and enjoy the present.