Mindfulness – So what exactly is it?
You may have seen it on our timetable, heard the term mentioned numerous times, but what actually is mindfulness in layman terms?
We are not going to over complicate things by writing a long winded article, we are keeping it simple so you can stay in the moment….see what we did!
Basically, mindfulness is a meditation practice, focusing on the body, breath and sound, training the mind to be present in the moment.
Like any form of exercise, meditation can feel boring, uncomfortable and darn right difficult at times! Try to think of mindfulness as a “mind gym” where you learn to build your ability to pay attention like a muscle. A well-honed muscle of attention helps us make the right decisions, and will help to implement into our daily life.
5 everyday mindfulness tips:
You wouldn’t attempt to run a marathon if you hate running and have only actually ever run for a bus…keep it simple and choose an activity you do each day and, for a few moments while you’re doing it, try to pay attention to every sensation – sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch – go on check in with your senses.
Choose a piece of food you really enjoy. Cut whatever it is into bite-sized pieces. Place a small morsel in your hand. You may feel utterly ridiculous…just go with it, focus on what the food looks like, as if this the first time you have ever seen it. Using your senses begin to notice the colour, the edges, the shape. After a minute or so, pop that tasty morsel into your mouth, chew slowly and notice what sweetness or bitterness tastes like. Notice what the urge to swallow feels like.
Ask yourself “What does the water feel like?” Whether you are in the shower or bath, experience the movements you make while soaping up and washing the soap off again as if this is the first time you have ever washed! Notice when your mind drifts off and you start thinking about your to-do list for the day, then bring your focus back to the feel of showering.
3. The ritual of tea:
Being British we are a nation of tea drinkers. This is a great one to be in the moment with. Slowly, try to experience the details…the sensation of pouring the hot water into the teapot or cup, stirring the tea spoon round and round, smelling as you bring the cup to your lips, tasting and enjoying that first sip of the day…bliss!! Ok to try with coffee too if you are a) not British or b) Not a tea lover.
4. At your desk:
First up check your posture, notice are your shoulders hunched? Rounded forwards? Hello people, channel your inner Pilates goddess and melt those shoulders down your back, open your chest and lengthen your spine. Now tune into what the sensations are of tapping your fingers on the keys. Are you a loud tapper, or quite gentle? One finger typer or do you own that keyboard like a concert pianist? Come off autopilot and notice when your mind demands you type something new and, when you do, come back to the feeling in your fingertips.
Here’s our last really simple one. Nobody is too busy to walk through a door way. Entering class at The View Studio, I know for a fact you will walk through three doorways! This one again takes 30 seconds to a minute. Each day when you go through a doorway, you can home in on just one particular doorway to make it even easier. Use this doorway as a reminder to notice what’s going on around you; the sounds, smells, sights and the feeling in your body. Check in with your senses again.
There you have it, 5 simple steps to adding mindfulness into your day. Come on, no one is ever too busy to eat!