Is your mind full or mindful?

This has been a tough year and for many of us, our wellbeing has taken a hit. Many studies have shown an increase in inactivity, loneliness, depression and anxiety brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic so why not try some mindfulness? By adding some mindfulness habits to our daily lives we can find happiness, joy and meaning.

What is mindfulness? 

 “Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction).

M – Moment to moment attention

Time is never wasted if you learn from it and pay attention to it.

I – in the here and now

Be present in the moments. When you listen – really listen.

N – non-judgemental attitude

“A day spent judging another is a painful day. A day spent judging yourself is a painful day.” Buddha    

D – detach from unhelpful thoughts 

Don’t believe in everything you read, think or hear. Detach from anything that makes you unhappy. 

F – forgive and be grateful

Refrain from spending too much time in the past, regretting what you did or didn't do.

U – unconditional acceptance 

The greatest gift you can give someone is to love and accept who they are. 

L – learn like a child

Be a sponge and get excited - remember we had to fail many times before we could walk.  
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius.

How can mindfulness help you?

Mindfulness can change the way you think and feel about your experiences, especially in stressful moments. It can really improve your ability to manage difficult situations and make wiser choices for yourself and others. 
Try to adopt 10-15 minutes of mindfulness techniques:
  • Start your day with some basic stretching or yoga and connect with your body listening to its tensions and stress. Help relieve these by starting your day as you mean to go on. Get ready for the day ahead.
  • Take a break in the day to focus on your breathing. We should breathe about 12-20 times per minute (in through the nose, into the stomach and out through the mouth).
  • Focus and surround yourself with the people that make you feel good.
  • When you look, ie really see, take everything in and appreciate every moment.
  • When you think, don’t overthink - focus on how you are feeling. 
  • When you eat and drink, really taste it. Appreciate it.
  • When you relax, clear your mind and include body-scan meditation. 
  • When you sleep, focus on your dreams.
  • Turn your passion into your job. It’s easier than finding a job that matches your passion. After all we spend most of our time at work. 
Lastly: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift - that’s why it’s called the present.” Bil Keane, American Cartoonist.
ymca | 30 June 2021