Mindfulness; it sounds great, right? So good in fact I think some of us (maybe just me) are a little intimidated to ask someone what it actually means and how we achieve it.
I’ve only ever heard hugely positive things about mindfulness but the fact that it is very much based on ‘thinking’ and tactics to see things differently means it can be a tricky one to get your head around quickly.
Considering it to be a ‘training’ tool is helpful, I think. People who practise mindfulness are learning to focus on the present moment.
So it’s key to concentrate on the here and now as much as possible, trying not to think about anything that’s happened in the past, or even in the future. Instead, focusing solely on what’s happening around you in the moment.
Zoning in on our current state so much could lead us to feel overwhelmed but to stop that, we should avoid being too judgmental of our surroundings, avoiding good or bad labels for the things happening around us.
Mindfulness is a tool to help clear your head, so it’s important to be as accepting of your surroundings as you can.
If you’re someone to overthinks things (I know I am), then mindfulness is for you in particular.
Allowing yourself to take in the moment and free your mind from worries about the past and future will give you more headspace to appreciate things we so often overlook.
When we’re mindful, we have clearer heads, are more aware of our bodies and environment, are able to slow down our thoughts and our nervous system and it helps us to relax, which in turn helps us to better cope with stress.
It almost sounds too good to be true? Which is why easing yourself into a more mindful headspace is a manageable way to change your thinking.
Often people increase their mindfulness via meditation and yoga, but also by simply paying more attention during day-to-day activities.
Try staying off your phone while you’re waiting for a bus or changing your soundtrack while walking, ensuring you have music that gives you space to breathe and think.
That’s the basics of mindfulness covered for beginners like me, so I hope it’s helpful!
I’m going to try out the techniques on my commute to work but I’d love to hear your tips for improving mindfulness. Find me at @DontFretClub.
Photo: Isabell Winter / Unsplash