Have you ever noticed that you only pay half attention?
Only half-listening to what others are saying. Driving somewhere and not knowing how you got there. Eating a meal and not really remembering what it tasted like....or even just not noticing people and things around you?
In our busy lives, it is really easy to get caught up in worrying about what will happen next. We spend most of our time thinking and planning about what might come next.
We often do things more out of unconscious habit rather than a fully conscious choice.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of simply being aware of what is happening right now!
Being mindful helps you slow down and stop rushing through your day.
It's about learning to see what is happening at a present moment and not being caught up in thinking and worrying, being able to choose what we want to attend to.
Being 'mindful' means being more fully aware of what is around us - what we can see, hear, touch and taste....and also what is happening inside us - our thoughts and feelings.
Why be Mindful?
By staying present you can make the little moments in your day-to-day more enjoyable and memorable and appreciate life...more!
Mindfulness has been shown to help us be healthier - to be less affected by stress, more relaxed, sleep better, improve our relationships, more willing to learn new things, and more creative.
It also helps in feeling happier and more satisfied with our everyday lives.
It is about 'being' in the present moment and not 'worrying' about what is going to happen next week, next month, or even next year. Being aware of what is around us and what is happening in the here and now.
More than likely there is a lot of great stuff happening all around us..and we just don't take the time to see it.
How to be Mindful!
The best part about mindfulness is that anyone can learn and benefit from it!
It is very simple, and needs take only a few minutes a day.
For me, mindfulness at first was a little tricky...it was (and still is -I'm still learning) just a matter of remembering to do it.
Research has shown that creating a new habit or behaviour can take anywhere up to 2 months for it to become part of your everyday life.
Don't be discouraged because anything worth doing takes a little bit of effort. The best way to start is with small steps. When you keep at it you'll feel the benefits in many areas of your life.
Positive mind, positive vibes, positive life!
5 tips to start being more mindful!
Just to add a little dose of mindfulness to your day, you can start with just a few simple tips...
1. Enjoy Breakfast
Just simply take the time to notice while you are eating breakfast. The smell, the taste, the warmth of the coffee.
Enjoy your breakfast without the distractions of social media or the negative side of the news. Taking the time to savour your breakfast will help to start your day calm, a little slower, and time to focus on you! (plus you don't just want to scoff it down and miss out on how delicious it is! 😉 )
2. Take a walk in nature
Take the opportunity to have regular walks.
Time to notice what is around you...the birds, the feel of the breeze, to notice nature - the trees, the grass. This is the best way to wind down.
But the tip here is not to use your phone or listen to music. Even though listening to music is a great way to relax, to be present in the moment you need to have no distractions so you can notice the little everyday things that normally you just rush past. ..let yourself just be content.
3. Take a Bath
Taking a bath (or a shower if that is more your thing) is the best time to be mindful and just be in the present moment.
To notice the warmth, the quietness and ....no distractions. The opportunity to just 'be'...to listen to the sounds around you, to take deep breaths... and just be peaceful.
4. Keep a Reminder to be Mindful
With days being so busy and so much to remember ....remembering to be mindful of 'present' at the moment can be hard.
There are lots of ways to remember to be mindful such as keeping a sticky note, having an elastic band around your wrist, or keeping a trinket attached to your bag ....something to remind you to be present - to be mindful.
5. Rest Before Sleeping
With such demanding lives it seems to be a necessity to 'squish' in as many things into your day and night. With time being precious many people catch up on social media, watch TV, and doing chores right up to the last minute before falling asleep.
To not be distracted or bombarded before falling asleep gives your brain the opportunity to wind down and your mind the time to just 'be'.
Being present just before going to sleep helps you to reflect on your day, to be grateful, and give your body and mind the time to relax and have a better sleep.
The more you practice mindfulness the more benefits in your life...
...all we need to do is to stop and take just notice!
Do you have any tips that help you be more mindful?
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Barb wonderful share I've been practicing this lifestyle for several years now and it's changed my quality of life tenfold. Great share:) I speak about mindfulness constantly on my blog and how we can incorporate it daily into our lives.
Indeed Mindfulness is important and changes our brain chemistry. Being grateful calms the mind and heart. Thanks for the great posts.