As a society, we’re being told to slow down. With more and more of us becoming stressed with everyday life, we can’t move for self-care guides and meditation tips. But when you’re trying to get dinner on the table, finish that project for work and locate a missing wellington boot, is it realistic to take some time out for yourself? It’s a big fat YES from us.
Lengthy meditations and expensive purchases (like that ‘must have’ scented candle) aren’t the most sensible additions to your everyday routine. But with practice and a little help from the art of mindfulness, you can de-stress your busy life in no time.
In a nutshell, Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present through the practice of meditation and other simple exercises. It doesn’t mean you need to transform into a hippy or invest in anything pricey - it’s a way of living that everyone can enjoy.
Mindfulness could mean heading to your local yoga class or simply plugging your headphones in on your commute, it’s all about what it means to you. It’s beneficial because it stops us worrying about the future - or raking over the past. The idea is that if you practice it enough, it’ll stop you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
Practising mindfulness everyday
To start with, all you need is five minutes. Find a quiet spot and take a seat somewhere comfy (it helps if you sit like this). Keep your body straight and concentrate on breathing slowly - you can close your eyes if you like. Then, focus on each body part and how comfortable it feels.
At this point, your mind may start to wander. Each time it does, pull your attention back to the present and keep focusing on your breathing. Continue this for the time you’ve allowed yourself and finish with a deep inhale and exhale. That’s mindfulness. Easy right?
Making mindfulness fun
As the saying goes, it takes around three weeks to form a good habit. And the idea is, once you’ve mastered five minutes you’ll be able to increase your time and enjoy ‘sessions’ of 20 minutes or more. But just like your gym routine and weekly menu planning, you’re more likely to stick with it if you keep things interesting.
If you need a helping hand to keep your focus, we’re obsessed with . This handy app has been downloaded over 31 million times. In fact, 250 big companies worldwide actually offer it free to their employees to keep them stress-free. It’s so popular because it breaks mindfulness up into easy chunks, ideal if you’re on the go.
More of a music fan? Spotify has a whole section dedicated to meditation music. And there are hundreds of podcasts dedicated to mindfulness out there - so it’s easy to keep it up.
What are your tips for living a mindful life?
From slowing down on a Sunday to nourishing your body with wholesome food, there are tons of ways to inject a little mindfulness in your life. If you fancy yourself a bit of a pro, tweet us your mindfulness tips and we’ll share them.