Lifestyle Post

Mindfulness

There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done.

One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.

So today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.

Dalai Lama

Every now and then we all need a little reset, life can quite literally run away with us and with so many distractions and worries about the past and the future it is all too easy to get caught up and forget to live in the moment. To really live in the present.

Can we really choose happiness?

In a fast paced world, we are always searching for happiness and ways to feel at our best. With so many of us suffering from stress, depression, low mood and anxiety it is no wonder that people are also leaning more and more on wellbeing techniques.

A yoga class, a walk outside, meditation, going out with friends, writing, listening to music- anything that helps us slow down and enjoy a moment. A moment where we are not overthinking the past or worrying about the future.

Happiness is attainable to all of us if we can figure out a way to become rooted in our present moment and free ourselves of worry and preoccupation.


Enter: Mindfulness

The Dictionary describes mindfulness in a couple of ways, with the first being, “The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something” and “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.” It elaborates by explaining that mindfulness is, “The mental state maintained by the use of this technique.”


I Am Here Now

I recently bought a guide book and journal exploring mindfulness, which has been a great introduction.  This book helps you focus the mind, relax and look at things in a different perspective. There are various thought-provoking exercises and it is great for a mindfulness novice.

I Am Here Now: A creative mindfulness guide and journal

I am here now will inspire you to explore your world with greater curiosity and find moments of mindfulness in everyday life while unleashing your creativity along the way.

Be here now with exercises to challenge your powers of observation, investigation and cultivation and bring new awareness to your senses, thoughts and emotions.

‘Mindfulness is a simple and very powerful practice of training our attention. It’s simple in that it’s really just about paying attention to what’s happening here and now (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgemental way. It’s powerful because it can interrupt the habit of getting lost in thoughts, mostly about the future or past, which often generates more stress on top of the real pressures of everyday life.’ The Mindfulness Project

(Available through Amazon)


So I have been learning and practicing how to be present in the moment. The benefits of this type of mental lifestyle are far reaching, and the reminder that we are in control of our minds is empowering. Those who live in the moment and practice mindfulness, tend to be happier, calmer, more relaxed, and appreciative. Sounds great, right? Mindfulness can also increase your ability to access your thoughts and emotions honestly, which in turn allows you better express how you are thinking and feeling to both yourself and others.

When researching for this blog I read that, depression lives in the past and anxiety lives in the future. Alternatively, calmness and peace of mind live in the present. And if this is true, it is certainly worth exploring further.

I have also started practicing yoga more regularly, coupled with short-guided meditation. I have never tried meditation before, but I have really enjoyed it. It is a brilliant tool to free your mind and centre yourself, allowing you to start lifting some of your every day worries, thoughts and stresses. It is amazing what difference a ten-minute meditation can make…

I have followed Bad Yogi for years, so I tried Erin’s bubble meditation for beginners, and I urge you to follow the link below and give it a try too… it is a great first step if you are intrigued about meditation, you can do it at home and Erin is a great guide.  


Is Your Mind Stealing Your Time?

One of the concepts in mindfulness is the idea that your mind maybe stealing time from you…   Have you ever heard the saying “don’t let the future steal your present?”  This statement is very powerful and has really resonated with me lately.

What does this mean?  Have you ever been doing something you really enjoy, but your mind is preoccupied with the thought “I don’t want this to be over” or “this is great, but I have work tomorrow”, this type of thinking gives your mind the power to steal away your precious time.

When you have thoughts like these, rather than being in the moment and enjoying what you are doing, you are focused on when it will come to an end… it’s the ‘Sunday night’ feeling on a loop. This type of thinking (non-mindfulness) will take away from you being in the moment and does not allow you to get as much as you can out of the experience.

Mindfulness brings us back to the present by focusing our mind and attention, enabling us to savour our current feeling. By being present in the moment (and savouring the time leading up to special occasions or fun activities), you not only appreciate your present so much more, but you can also achieve a higher level of satisfaction and enjoyment.

It sounds so simple, but it takes practice but if you can achieve mindfulness in your everyday, it can be life changing.


So How Can You Practice Mindfulness?

1. Make Gratitude A Part Of Your Routine

2. Work On Your Breathing (Yoga)

3. Meditation

4. Increase Your Awareness

5. Watch The World Go By

6. Take Control Of Your Thoughts

7. Take 10 Minutes To Do Nothing

Another great tool is the Headspace App, using this app to guide you – even just a few minutes a day can really make all the difference. You can choose your focus on the app, whether it is to help you sleep, or deal with anxiety or stress and you can switch on ‘Mindful Moments’ for daily reminders to focus your attention on the present.


Why not just give it a try now?

In this moment, try to focus your mind… on your breathing, on your environment, on how you feel- right now…

Let go of yesterday and push tomorrow out of your mind and take today.

Let’s live in the now.


love Em-Gem xxx

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