It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Paying more attention to the present moment, to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you, can improve your mental wellbeing. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis. There’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodelling the physical structure of your brain.
How do I practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practises like taking time to pause when you eat a favourite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
Wake with a purpose.
- On waking in the morning, before checking your phone, take three long, deep breaths. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then let your breath settle into its own rhythm, as you simply follow it in and out, noticing the rise and fall of your chest and belly as you breathe.
- Ask yourself “What is my intention for today?” Think about the people and activities you will face.
- Set your intention for the day. “Today, I will be kind to myself; be patient with others; give generously; have fun; eat well,” or anything else you feel is important.
- Throughout the day, check-in with yourself. Pause, take a breath, and revisit your intention. Notice, as you become more conscious of your intentions for each day, how the quality of your communications, relationships, and mood shifts.
For frontline workers
Did you know the founder of Mindfulness UK, Karen very kindly produced two mindfulness practice videos, designed specifically for our Mind Of My Own community of frontline workers in children’s services? Here they are:
Please be good to yourself and how many of these have you ticked off for Mindful March?