We live in a fast-paced world with many competing demands on our attention. Amid so many distractions, it is crucial to find moments to pay careful attention to what is happening within and around us. This practice, known as mindfulness, is a useful skill which anyone can learn. Research has found that mindfulness has numerous benefits, including stress reduction and improved focus and memory.
Here are some ways you can incorporate mindfulness into daily life:
- Practice stillness during and between everyday tasks
Remove all distractions and simply sit still. What state is your mind in? Are you tired, anxious, calm, happy? Constantly doing tends to blind us to the present moment and our inner experience. Mindfulness is a process of self-inquiry, through which we can better understand ourselves and our minds.
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Filling our lives with relentless busyness is sometimes related to an underlying sense of discontent. One way to change this is by paying closer attention to what we can be grateful for. There are many ways to express gratitude – through words, art, food, touch or body language. However it is expressed, practising gratitude helps shift our awareness to all that is good in life.
- Step out into nature
Nature can help reacquaint us with a deeper sense of peace, place and purpose. Whether you go for a walk or simply sit outside to breathe some fresh air, find an opportunity to slow down, connect with nature and experience stillness. Observe what is happening right now, then watch it pass.
Written by Arijana Hostnjak, a clinical psychologist at Seed Psychology.