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What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice that helps to bring your attention to the present moment and enables you to be aware of your senses and feelings at that point in time. You can be mindful by paying attention to your body and/or breath. This means not thinking about the past and not worrying about the future. Rather, just being in the ‘now’. Find out how being mindful can help you...
Why you should you be more mindful. Research has shown that it can help to improve your physical and mental health, and may also help:
- Lower your stress levels
- Reduce feelings of anxiety or depression
- Reduce physical pain
- Raise your self-awareness and understanding of your own emotions (and help you accept them)
- Bring inner peace and emotional healing
- Enable you to think more clearly
- Slow the pace at which you eat
- Help you sleep better
Can I practice mindfulness at home?
Two common ways of practicing mindfulness are deep breathing and body scanning.
- Deep breathing involves concentrating and focusing on your breath to keep you in the present moment.
- Body scanning involves focusing on body parts from top to toe to bring awareness to your body.
If you’re interested in finding out more about mindfulness and meditation, you can join a mindfulness and/or meditation group, and there are courses and workshops for those who need more guidance and support.
Two activities that use mindfulness are meditation and yoga.
There are also apps you can use to help you practice mindfulness:
- Smiling Minds is a non-for-profit web and app-based meditation program developed by psychologists and educators to help bring mindfulness into your life.
- ReachOut Breathe is an app for managing anxiety via controlled breathing exercises.
- Breethe is an app that teaches simple mindfulness and meditation techniques to help bring more happiness, joy, calm and peace of mind into your life.
- Stop, Breathe & Think is an app about meditation and mindfulness, designed to help you feel strong, connected and inspired through life’s ups and downs.
- The Headspace: Guided Meditation app is a simple way to reframe stress. Relax with guided meditations and mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness and balance to your life in just a few minutes each day.
Being mindful and practicing mindfulness can help you in all aspects of your life where you may find yourself feeling stessed, whether it be family life, work life, the death of a loved one or planning a big event like a wedding. Take care of you first, that way, when the occasion arises - you can be physically and emotionally able to take care of others.