Being healthy is more than just having a good body. It’s about the mind, body and spirit working in harmony. And one of the ways to look after your mental well-being is through being mindfulness. And while meditation is great for being mindful, they are actually not the same. You don’t have to meditate to be mindful. Mindfulness is more about awareness of thoughts, emotions and your surroundings. It’s about bringing your wandering mind back to the present moment. And to do that you don’t have to sit on a meditation cushion. You can do it every day by practising the following.
When you first wake up, rather than reach out for your phone, notice the feeling of your sheets and duvet on your skin. Feel the air on your skin and take a few deep breaths before getting up.
Enjoy your shower
When was the last time you really paid attention in the shower? Next time pay attention to what the water feels like on your skin, notice how the shower gel lathers up and feel the sensation on your body. Give yourself a mindful head massage as you shampoo and condition your hair.
Drink up mindfully
It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee, herbal tea or an orange juice, just be mindful of that sip and savour every bit of it on your tongue before swallowing. You may want to close your eyes and really get into the experience.
Most often we keep our eyes on shop level, but have you looked up to see the buildings above it? You will be pleasantly surprised at what you will find. Better still, when in nature, look up at the sky. What do you notice? Birds, trees, clouds? Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of nature.
Munch slowly on lunch
Before diving into your lunch, take a few moments to examine it. What does it look and smell like? What are the colours and textures you see? Then take a bite and really chew the food feeling the flavours explode in your mouth. Try to do that with every mouthful and see how long that lunch lasts.
Take a walk
Stretch your legs either after lunch or if you can after work. Allow your senses to engage with your surroundings. Try to spot something that you’ve never seen before. Notice how your legs feel as they carry you each step of the way. Don’t forget your feet. They carry you everywhere. Be grateful to them and look after them when you can.
Listen to the sound of silence
As you close the day before bedtime, sit or lie still, close your eyes and listen. What can and can’t you hear? Are there noises in the distance? Enjoy the peace and quiet and relax in the knowledge that all is calm.
Practising mindfulness daily really can help train the mind to focus on the present. It’s the first step in conscious living. Do it whenever you can. After all we don’t have yesterday, we don’t have tomorrow, only the here and now
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