Wellbeing and stress relief
Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgement, allowing you to rest your mind and body. Being mindful may allow you to focus on and appreciate what you have instead of taking things for granted. The awareness and feeling of gratitude may help you feel renewed.
Without being mindful, you may simply react to negative thoughts and feelings. Practising mindfulness may help you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and manage them in a positive way. Taking control of your thoughts and feelings can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Being mindful may help enhance relationships. In a busy life, you may get distracted during interactions with close friends and family and take them for granted. But if you take stock of the importance of these relationships to you, you are likely to give your loved ones more attention.
Being mindful at work means focusing on one task at a time instead of multitasking. This makes it more likely you will be able to perform a task well.
3 tips on being mindful
Many individuals and organisations now offer mindfulness training. However, you can start putting mindfulness into practice with a few simple exercises.
- One-minute breathing exercise Sit with your back straight but relaxed. For the next minute, focus your entire attention on your breathing in and out, how air passes in and out of your nostrils, and how your abdomen rises and goes down with each breath. If thoughts start crowding in, gently let them go and refocus on your breathing.
- Check in with yourself Bring yourself into the present moment by asking yourself, ‘What is going on with me at the moment?’ You can label your thoughts and feelings - for example, ‘that’s an anxious feeling’ - and let them go. You may start to feel more of an observer instead of someone reacting to thoughts and feelings.
- Eat mindfully When you’re having a meal, focus on your eating. Don’t read or watch TV at the same time. Pay attention to how the food looks, smells and tastes. You may find you enjoy your food more, and stop eating when you’re full instead of automatically finishing what’s on your plate.
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Last reviewed: August 2017