Written by: Jenny Smith
Mindfulness has become a buzzword in the last few years. It has been the biggest tool to demystify meditation, taking it out of retreat centres and monasteries and bringing it smack bang into mainstream of life.
Benefits of mindfulness
Simply put, it’s about being in the moment, attending to what is going on here and now, rather than focussing on the past or the present. It can involve noticing sounds, sights, smells and sensations, helping to reduce the amount of time we spend in our heads thinking our way through life. The wider benefits from being mindful are great, they include: increased energy, increased positivity, reduced stress, depression and anxiety, leading to a much more content life.
To practice mindfulness you don’t have to have lots of spare time. By introducing it to your day, you will start to feel like you have a lot more time. The constant worry about what lies ahead can drain you mentally, making us feel constantly time pressured.
Practicing Being Mindful
An easy way to start is by choosing an activity that you do each day. Cleaning your teeth for example, make a decision to be as present as possible whilst you are engaged with that activity. Play around with it; see if you notice the taste and smell of the toothpaste, the bristles on your teeth and tongue, the water running and the brush brushing. Of course, your mind will try and take your attention away. Every time you find yourself getting caught in a train of thought, gently return your attention to the experience of brushing your teeth.
Involving the children
You can bring mindfulness into your parenting. When your children are talking to you, make a commitment to just listen to them. Donâ€™t allow your mind to drift off, thinking of all the things you should be doing! Practicing this with your children, a few times a day will make a huge difference to both them and you. Avoid planning what you are going to say back to them when they are speaking, simply attend to hearing their voices, seeing them communicate with you and let your replies come naturally and in the moment.