5 ways to become more mindful
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is savouring this moment and living for today. From religious gurus to psychologists, being able to reach this state of mind is encouraged across the world. Research has shown that mindfulness can help ease stress even help with some psychological issues. See our 5 tips on becoming more mindful in your life.
1. Mindfulness is easy as breathing
Not sure that meditation is for you? That’s ok. There are ways to get benefits of mindfulness without it being mysterious or mystical. One technique is to go into a quiet space and sit comfortably on the floor. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for 10 minutes.
Practice makes perfect with the breathing technique, so aim to build up to a routine. Maybe you can do it first thing in the morning before you start your day. Or even use it as a good reason to put your phone away before you wind down for bed. If you are having a rough day at the office, find a quiet space and close your eyes for a moment. Don’t think of your to-do list, instead just breath and “be”.
2. Focus on your mind on now
What are the moments that you cherish? Maybe you need to slow down and pay attention and rediscover those moments. Nature is a great place to find serenity and discover new ways to become more mindful. Take a walk in the forest and wake up your senses to the sights, sounds and even the smells around you.
You can try this at home as well. From rain drops on your window to sunlight peering through the curtains. Your daily life is full of little moments that might not be exciting – but they can be enriching. Make it a priority to slow down during the day and notice what is around you. The washing up will still be there when you are done. Hopefully you will feel a little more refreshed to tackle the day-to-day.
3. Get the most out of your mind and body
Yoga and other forms of stretching exercises are not just about your body but also about connecting with your mind. Consider signing up for a local yoga course to learn more about how you can work with your mind and body together.
Not all yoga is created equally. For that reason, if you are just testing the waters make sure you read the course description, so you don’t accidentally join a class that requires expert knowledge or gymnastic acrobatics. Other forms of exercise can also become mindful experiences such as walking and jogging. Importantly, leave your headphones at home so you can enjoy quiet focus.
4. Try something different: sauna for mindfulness
In Scandinavian culture, going to sauna is considered an everyday but somehow spiritual experience. Did you know that over 90% of Finnish people go for a sauna visit at least once a week? Getting naked and sitting in a hot room sounds a bit silly in some cultures. But, there is a happy medium, for example more and more gyms and spas outside of Scandinavia offer a sauna experience that you can enjoy wearing a towel or bathing suit.
Like in some forms of yoga, being immersed in heat is an experience in itself. It can help relax muscles and also the mind. There is not much to do in a very hot room full of steam, except to sit, maybe socialize a little, and hopefully reach a state of mindfulness.
5. Reach zen with hobbies and crafts
Mindfulness is not just a concept, but it is also an industry. From self-help audiobooks to adult colouring books, you can buy many things that claim to help you become more mindful. The good news is that this means there are a lot of products that can help you on your mindfulness journey.
Hobbies, crafts and arts are good ways into a more mindful existence. Importantly, you don’t want anything that will overtake your mind. This means some degree of ‘mindlessness’ is good, such as can come from repetitive tasks like knitting or colouring in a pretty picture. That way you can clear your mind but still concentrate on something in the here and now – the perfect balance to take a break from all the stresses of daily life.