11 months ago
Mindfulness has become a real buzz word in recent years but to some it's unclear what it actually looks like in a practical sense. To me, mindfulness is simply getting out of auto-pilot.
As we grow up much of our thoughts, words, behaviours and actions become purely the result of habit. We find ourselves doing many of our day to day tasks without thinking at all. Research has shown that by the age of thirty five 95% of our day to day thoughts and actions are sub-conscious.
Mindfulness allows us to step back and become more present in the things we are doing.
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to practice mindfulness in your life and move from someone who reacts without thinking to someone who forms mindful responses that support their goals.
Yogis have talked about the power of breath for years and it's one of the simplest ways of becoming 'mindful'. Simply turn off any distractions and tune in to your breath. No need to change anything about how you are breathing, just notice the feeling of breath entering your body, and then leaving. Notice how you feel emotionally, physically and mentally. Tune out from distraction and take 2-3 minutes just for you, to check in to your breath.
2. Eat mindfully
Set a 15 minute timer with your next meal. Sometimes we knock back meals or drinks without even tasting the food. Set a timer, turn off the tv and the phone and really enjoy your next meal as if it were the first time you'd ever eaten these foods. Notice the taste, the texture, and how the foods make you feel. Think of the journey the food took to get to your plate. Tune out from all other distraction and appreciate the foods like you never did before. Eat slow and intentionally enjoying every bite.
3. Set a timer to stretch
Set a timer to go off every 1-2 hours whilst you work. When it go's off get up out of your seat and perform 5-10 minutes of full body stretches. Sitting down can lead to rounded shoulders and us becoming zombie like. Take these 5-10 minutes every 1-2 hours to stretch and check in with your body. Notice how you feel and as you exhale on each stretch think of breathing out any stress or tension.
4. Use pen and paper
Our reliance on technology can sometimes put us back in this 'auto pilot' state walking around like zombies scrolling through news feeds and living in screens. Getting pen and paper and physically writing is a great way of becoming mindful and checking in with yourself. Whether it's writing down your feelings, your goals, your dreams or just writing down some notes on something your studying pen and paper can be a great tool for mindfulness.
5. Get out in nature
Sit, stand, lie or walk in nature. Notice all the sounds, the colours, the feelings of your body on the ground. Try to pick out as many sounds as you can in nature, become aware of all that is before you and around you. Tune out from any distractions and become hyper aware of all of your senses and what they pick up on in nature.
Give these 5 tips a go and notice the peace and reassurance they bring to life over time. Try to take at least a few mindful moments every day buy narrowing your focus to the task at hand rather than trying to multi-task.