Whether it’s sending one last work email over dinner or folding laundry while watching your kids play – we are increasingly always switched on and trying to manage more than one task at a time.
While this may seem harmless, in our increasingly busy lives, this behaviour can have detrimental effects on our wellbeing.
By practising mindfulness, we can reconnect with ourselves, appreciate the fullness of each moment, and maintain our positive wellbeing.
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
What is mindfulness?
Put simply, mindfulness is being fully present – aware of where we are and what we’re doing.
We can use mindfulness to get to know ourselves better – how we think, feel, and react.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you sat still and focused on how you are really feeling? If the answer surprises you, you’re not alone.
Mindfulness can also allow us to connect more deeply with the people we care about. Instead of completing another task while asking your partner how their day was, sit down, engage, In the meantime if we can help in any way please give me a buzz. and really listen.
Benefits also include lower stress levels, enhanced focus, and greater control of your emotions.
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.”
– Jack Kornfield
Tips for practicing mindfulness
Here are some simple steps to make a significant difference to your mental health and wellbeing with mindfulness…
Engage with the present moment and pay attention to what you notice with your five senses – what you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste.
|Be mindful with daily tasks
When you carry out a routine chore like washing dishes, focus on the smell of the dishwashing liquid and the feel of the warm soapy water on your hands. This is a great way to bring yourself back to the present moment and to clear your mind of other thoughts that may be taking up space.
|Focus on your breath
Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. What does your breathing feel like? What does it sound like? Focus your attention on all the sensations of breathing.
Try responding to difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding. In doing so, we shift our attention from others to ourselves, recognising that we too are worthy of compassion.