Introducing daily mindfulness into your life can make a huge difference to your stress levels.
Isn’t life busy….. Rushing from one thing to the next with a massive to do list and thoughts whizzing round in your head. And you just want to stop. Just for a bit. And recover, refresh and regain control.
You’ve probably heard of mindfulness but you might not know what it is. Or you might have tried to do it already but got a bit lost, or maybe it didn’t work or you didn’t keep it up consistently so didn’t feel the benefits. Mindfulness is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress and relax but it does take a bit of practice and dedication to make it part of your everyday life. That’s why it’s called a practice I guess 🙂
So what are the benefits of mindfulness?
Research from Harvard Health Publications says that Mindfulness improves well being, physical health and mental health. some of the key benefits are listed as:
- Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
- By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
- help relieve stress
- improve sleep
And it can help with easing depression and anxiety which are two of the most common things I treat in my hypnotherapy practice in Sussex and online on zoom.
So how can you practice mindfulness easily on a daily basis?
When you first wake up in the morning and you are still in bed, notice your breathing and take five breathes. Notice each one.
Be aware of any changes in your posture. Notice if your limbs and loose or stiff. Heavy or light. Notice what changes when you move from one position to the next.
Be aware of sounds around you. Really notice them. Whether it’s a phone ringing, a bird singing, a train passing, laughter, a car horn, the wind, the sound of a door closing—use any sound as a signal to be mindful and present.
Over the course of the day, when you are distracted, remember to come back to your breath and notice your breathing and take five breathes. Notice each one.
Before you eat something compose your breathing and notice it so you are fully present. Realise that the food was connected to something that nourished its growth. Think about what made that food grow. The sunlight, the rain, the earth, the farmer….. Eat slowly and conciously and be mindful that what you are eating is going to nourish every cell in your body. Notice the smell and taste of every mouthful and take the time to chew and swallow slowly.
Be aware of the movements of your body throughout the day. When you move, walk, stand or sit. Notice your posture and feel your feet connected to the ground. Notice any breeze on your face and in your hair and maybe the sound of the wind, rain or other noises. Be aware of your speed.
At any opportunity, on hold on the phone, in a queue, cleaning your teeth, getting dressed, cooking, waiting at traffic lights or in traffic. Be aware of how you feel. Are you tense or relaxed? How is your breathing? Where is your breathing high or low in your body?
Notice any tension in your body. Where is it? Can you relax it? Notice the difference that makes.
Be aware of any points of tightness in your body throughout the day. See if you can breathe into them and, as you exhale, let go of excess tension. Is there tension stored anywhere in your body? For example, your neck, shoulders, stomach, jaw, or lower back? If possible, stretch or do yoga once a day.
At bedtime, once you are in bed and still, notice your breathing and take five breathes. Notice each one.
As you can see, it doesn’t take long to be mindful and it’s easy to do. give it a go now.
If you need more than mindfulness…
Even mindfulness can’t get you though some stuff, so if you need help to overcome your depression or anxiety please do get in touch and I can help you.