Being mindful is paying attention to the present, being in the now and knowing what is going on inside and outside your body. It means you observe your thoughts, feelings, and the sensations of taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. You are also fully aware of your surroundings. There is no judgement - just knowing where you are at.
Practising mindfulness can help you to cope with everyday life and deal with tough times. It can also help you to concentrate, relax and be more productive.
Here are 5 tips to practise Mindfulness
1. Focus only on the present.
You can still be doing regular activities like walking, eating a meal or shopping. It is important to focus on the present and not let your mind wander to the past or future. How are you feeling right now? Are you hungry? Are you breathing quickly or slowly? Are you tired?
2. Concentrate on what is happening around you.
It's easy for our mind to start wandering about but when you concentrate on what’s happening around you, you are less likely to get caught up in your thoughts. What sounds can you hear? What can you smell? What does the air feel like on your face?
3. Try not to be judgemental about anything you notice.
Just notice things and let things be the way they are. Try not put a judgement on it whether it is good or bad.
4. Try mindful breathing.
Take a few extra minutes to focus on your breathing. What does your breathing feel like? What does it sound like? Where do you first feel the breath in your body? Where does the breath go in your body?
5. Try mindful meditation.
Meditation is a simple and effective way to steady the mind, give clarity to your thoughts and help you to manage stress.
For example: Find a seat, close your eyes and pay attention to the breath. Breathe in to the count of 4 and breathe out to the count of 8. As you inhale, visualise the movement of oxygen through your respiratory system. As you exhale, imagine any stress you’ve been holding float away. Repeat five times.
Notice how you feel before and after you practise mindfulness.