You may have probably heard of the buzzword “mindfulness”. Well, what is it really all about?
According to general research, mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present in the moment and be aware of where we are and what we are doing, without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.
We live in a world where digital screens, non-stop notifications, and busy work schedules coupled with hectic city life has led us to be on “auto-pilot”. This may induce feelings of stress, anxiety, distraction and even unhappiness.
For us to have a sensible understanding of the whole mindfulness concept, we may have to realise first why we need to integrate it into our everyday lives.
According to the American Psychological Association, “Several disciplines and practices can cultivate mindfulness, such as yoga, tai chi and qigong, but most of the literature has focused on mindfulness that is developed through mindfulness meditation — those self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity and concentration (Walsh & Shapiro, 2006)”.
Here are simple tips for bringing more mindfulness into our lives.
Many of us rarely allow ourselves to slow down and be fully aware of the precious moments of our lives. When you wake up in the morning, try not to immediately check your digital devices straight away. Being bombarded with new messages, emails and other to-dos often creates a feeling of distress. Give yourself the time and space to begin your day in a calm manner.
Nowadays, meditation is not just practised by yogis or wellness gurus. In fact, it has become increasingly more popular with almost everyone – thanks to the presence of guided meditation classes and a myriad of tutorial videos from the internet. So how is meditation done? Sit in stillness, close your eyes, and focus on your breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. If you are just starting, you may practice for shorter periods such as five or ten minutes.
Practice Mindful Eating
When eating, sit somewhere peaceful and only take one fork or spoonful at a time. After taking one mouthful, put down your utensil and chew thoroughly until you can taste the essence of the food.
Reflect on Your Daily Habits
You may pen down the activities you do on a daily basis from the time you open your eyes, to the time you fall asleep. Track each of them and then ruminate about whether these habits are helping you clear your mind and get you focused, or whether you think there are some routines that can be changed up.
Stay in the Moment
Mindfulness is all about being “in the present moment”. Many of us spend our entire lives trying to relive the past, or worry a great deal about the future. Simply calm down, and pay as much attention as you can to just what is “here and now”. There are some mindful activities you can take on to help you stay present such as walking, painting, reading and listening to music.