Mindfulness is the hot ticket in the wellness world at the moment. So hot that the Huffington Post coined 2014 as the Year of Mindful Living. Its no wonder when studies have shown that mindfulness reduces depression, anxiety and stress – especially by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Mindfulness is a way of “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally” that originated from Eastern meditation practices. It is a way to notice anything we might not normally notice – like what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we are thinking, and any physical sensations within our bodies.
Mindfulness can simply be noticing what we don’t normally notice, because our heads are too busy thinking about what we need to do, or going over what we have done, haven’t done or should have done.
Easy right? Yes and no. Because our minds don’t normally work like this, it can take practice to achieve mindfulness.
But some people get freaked out by the idea of mindfulness, thinking that you need to delve into a hippy world of transcendental meditation before you can achieve mindfulness. And that’s simply not that case.
Here’s some quick tips to trying mindfulness, or at least get started on the right path:
- Download an easy guided mindfulness app like Headspace. The first 10 ten-minute sessions are free so you can see what all the hooplah is about.
- Take some Mini Mindful Moments during the day – like: eating mindfully, pausing an taking a deep breath, looking up (as in, towards the sky), taking your shoes off and walking on grass.
- Practice yoga. Yoga isn’t just a workout, it’s a “work in” too, helping to quiet the mind and take notice of your body and how it moves.
- Read up on mindfulness. At Yoga With Me HQ we like Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
I’m practicing 10 minutes of mindfulness a day during May – join in with me and feel the difference.