We hear the word “mindfulness” everywhere we go – but what is it really about?
How can we bring more of it into our lives – and why is it important that we do?
Read on to find out!
What is mindfulness?
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This month's art was created by Damian King (@damiankingdesign) who shares an important message — be here now. Be present in this moment. Read this special note from Damian himself: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “This piece was created as a reminder to myself, and hopefully as inspiration to others, to remember that the 'here and now' is where we are truly alive. It is so easy to let ourselves become wrapped up in reflecting on the past or planning for the future that we forget to live in the moment. I hope this artwork can help people to set an intention to put down their devices, to remain aware, and be in the present moment." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #intention #beherenow #livemindfully #livewell #newyear #letterpressart #letterpress #inspiration #bepresent
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In simple terms, mindfulness is the practice of being fully present.
It involves placing your full attention on what’s happening around you, including what you’re doing. And that literally means anything you’re doing – whether you’re having your morning coffee, taking the trash out, or doing yoga.
Why is it important to be more mindful?
Living more mindfully can significantly improve our lives – and that’s a claim backed by science!
Here are some of the health benefits of mindfulness:
- Mindfulness improves our emotional wellbeing
- It can ease aches and pains
- It can prevent and treat depression
- It helps us feel better about ourselves
- It improves our mental health
- It helps us make better decisions
- It can make us more compassionate – and improve our relationships with others
But even though fully focusing on your surroundings, and what you’re doing, sounds simple – it isn’t always as easy in practice.
That’s because our minds have been hijacked by thoughts – and are rarely calm and quiet. In fact, some experts have even put forward that an average person has about 50,000 thoughts a day!
So, how can we quiet our minds – and bring more mindfulness into our lives?
5 simple tips for living more mindfully every day
- Use mindfulness apps. With apps like Headspace or Calm, you can do short mindfulness practices everywhere you go.
- Practice mindful eating. Next time you have a meal, switch off the TV, put down your phone, and eat in silence, fully appreciating the smells, tastes, and textures.
- Start a morning coffee/tea/lemon water ritual. Ease yourself into the day with a mindful warm drink in the morning. Close your eyes – and savor the moment.
- Change things up. One of the biggest obstacles to focusing on the moment is our tendency to do things “automatically,” without thinking. That’s where changing things up can help. Take a different route to work or school – or mix it up on the way back. Take in the surroundings – including colors, sounds, and smells.
- Practice mindful breathing. The beauty of this practice is that it can be done wherever you are! Simply focus your attention on your breath as you inhale and exhale.
And now – learn how to bring more kindness and gratitude into your life: