Meditation and other mindfulness practices
Mindfulness is considered by many to be the gateway to wellbeing.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on the present moment. This practice can steer you away from racing thoughts, reduce stress and anxiety, and sharpen your focus.
Practicing mindfulness can help both when life is going well, and in times of difficulty, by helping you to live in the moment instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen, or dwelling on things you can’t change. The benefits become more evident the more time you spend practicing mindfulness. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the patience and perseverance when you start to feel more at ease and not so controlled by your thoughts and emotions.
Meditation apps such as Headspace, Calm and Harmony are great introductions to mindfulness meditation. If you prefer to meditate with movement, there are also many mindful practices you can try, such as:
Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi
Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are great if you are keen to practice mindfulness while moving. Why not try a local beginner’s class, or a YouTube tutorial?
You can do this anywhere, at any time. The key is to pay attention to your senses as you walk – what you feel, see and hear. It also encourages you to slow your pace and become more aware of your surroundings, and be ‘in the moment’ by drawing your mind back to your senses every time it tries to wander off into daydreaming or thinking.
A popular way for people to relax. Mindful colouring books can be bought in most book and stationary shops or you can simply print off some sheets from the internet to see if you enjoy it.
A practice that you can do each day. It involves paying attention to your food and the sensations of eating. Avoid anything that could distract you from your meal such digital devices, books, newspapers or TV as distractions. Pay attention to what you’re eating, the sensory experiences—taste, smell and texture. Notice the colour or presentation of the food.