It feels like I see or hear something every day about mindfulness and how we should all be practising it. There’s a huge body of evidence which suggests that people who practice being mindful feel less stressed, anxious and depressed and I’ve certainly seen the benefit to both myself and for my clients. That said, I’m wary than it can seem another thing on the to do list and that it’s another thing we can give ourselves a hard time over not doing. I’ve also noticed that for many people the barrier to starting being more mindful is the idea of meditating. Whilst you don’t have to be spiritual or have any particular beliefs to meditate, the idea of it can sometimes put people off.
Practicing mindfulness need not be restricted to meditation, there are plenty of ways to be more mindful that are accessible, fun and easy to fit into your routine. The key is to schedule little bits of time when you can and prioritise yourself.
Eating mindfully – taking time to fully experience what we’re eating also carries the benefit that we can enjoy it all the more! Read more about eating mindfully.
Arts and crafts – from the myriad of colouring books available in shops, to calligraphy, decoupage, upcycling and knitting, you can pick whatever you like so long as it’s something that requires your undivided attention.
Go for a walk without technology – walking without music or google maps may seem pretty shocking but when we’re with our smart phones we look down and stop appreciating our surroundings. It doesn’t matter if the walk is in nature or in an urban area, taking in our surroundings without analysing or judging them is a great way to practice mindfulness. Extra credit if you walk without a particular route or destination in mind.
Journaling – A big part of living mindfully is being in touch with your emotions. I’m always talking to clients about the importance of feeling their feelings. Stress, anxiety and a feeling of being withdrawn or numb can come from pushing down feelings. Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings can be a great way to get in touch with your emotions.
Exercise – any exercise that requires complete concentration is a great way to be mindful as the more focused you are on the activity, the more in the moment you’ll be.