Mindfulness is the trend that’s really making a difference in the lives of people who use it on a daily basis. But first, let’s recap what it actually is…
It’s defined as a state of consciousness where you direct your full attention and focus only to the present moment – and it’s all about being aware of your sensations and feelings in that very instance. Now, this practice has been around in some form for thousands of years, and while it’s primarily influenced by Buddhist traditions, it’s been shown to have a whole host of benefits in all cultures and beliefs. From reducing stress, to improving relationships, and promoting an overall sense of health and wellbeing – a little bit of daily mindfulness can go a long way.
While it’s great to know what mindfulness actually is and why it still holds such value after thousands of years, if you want to start using it yourself, it helps to know how to do it. That’s why we’ve got 5 simple steps to help you make mindfulness easy.
1. Keep it in your calendar – Yes, actually write it down in your diary! Pick a time and place where you can devote yourself and whatever you’re doing to mindfulness. You really only need 5 or 10 minutes, though you can make it longer if you’d like. We recommend starting your day off with a mindful activity, as stress levels are generally lower in the morning so you’re less likely to be distracted. Plus, it will help you get your brain in gear for the tasks ahead of you by sharpening your focus right from the start.
2. Find your place – our external environment has a constant impact on how we’re feeling and what our focus is like, so make sure your space for mindfulness promotes the activity. Seek out locations that are peaceful, comforting, and feel safe to you, especially if you’re new to the practice, as it will make it easier to place your attention fully on the present moment. You can also dedicate one specific place to your mindfulness meditation practices, to make it easier to get into that mindset every time you go there.
3. Listen to your body – focus on what your needs are. If you feel you need to focus on achieving something, then that is what you should devote your mindful meditation to. Maybe you want to work on letting go of stress, or managing expectations, or perhaps you want to incorporate mindfulness into your eating habits. Don’t feel as though you have to do what others are doing or follow a general guideline. When you’re ready for your mindful moment, start by refocusing your attention on what you need to do for you, and align all of your energy into that.
4. Consistency is key – as with anything, practice makes perfect – but it also makes things easier. Whatever routine you’re trying to get into – be it exercise, healthy eating, or being more mindful in your daily life – the more consistent you are in it, the better. You can think of mindfulness like running – the more you do it the easier it will become and the more you’ll get out of it.
5. Once you feel it, hold onto it – and don’t let go! When you spend a few minutes in a mindfulness exercise you will find a positive energy flowing through you – hold onto this feeling and let it guide you through the day and help you to navigate your life.