So, your New Year’s resolution is to be less stressed, but your diary is bursting at the seams, your child has just come down with the latest tummy bug, the washing basket is overflowing and the Christmas credit card bill lands on the doormat. Just how exactly are you supposed to keep a cool head? The answer: Mindfulness!
Mindfulness is pretty hot in the UK right now – everyone is talking about it. You can’t open a newspaper or website without being confronted with adverts for certain courses, exercise groups or self-help books. But what is mindfulness anyway? Yoga, meditation, anything to do with Zen? One thing is certain: you do not have time to spend an hour lying on a mat every day. But we can reassure you – mindfulness does not have to be time-consuming. Mindfulness literally means “mindfulness.” And although the concept is heavily based on eastern traditions such as yoga, you can easily integrate mindfulness into your everyday life. Mindfulness assumes that you relax automatically when you do things with your full attention. That seems incredibly simple, but can be a real challenge in our stressful lives.
How does this work?
If you want to start the new year being mindful, you don’t need a yoga mat or any special bars, supplements or CDs. The only thing you have to do is learn how to focus your mindfulness solely on the now. Mindfulness is actually the opposite of life on “autopilot”. Instead of focusing your attention on multiple things at the same time (your smartphone, your child, the saucepan bubbling on the hob, your diary), try focusing on just one activity. The result: peace of mind, reduced stress and many other benefits.
Why should you be mindful?
Mindfulness has a huge impact on your well-being! A calmer and less stressful lifestyle means that your body can relax better. You will be able to sleep better, concentrate more effectively and also have the power to put fears and worries into perspective. If this is not enough, mindfulness also has a positive impact on your blood pressure and your immune system. And if you’re less stressed, you’ll be far more likely to stick to any other resolutions you might have, such as losing weight and getting fit!
We understand that mindfulness is easier said than done. That’s why we have some tips for you to develop your mindfulness skills:
• Every now and then, do not do anything for a quarter of an hour. Turn off the phone and TV, ignore all thoughts and focus solely on your breathing. If you find that hard, start slowly with five minutes at a time.
• Hold conversations with mindfulness. Focus on the person you are talking to and listen carefully. Only start thinking about what you want to say when it’s your turn.
• Eat mindfully too! Rather than shovelling in your food thoughtlessly, focus on taste, texture, temperature, and every single bite. You will notice that you eat less, taste better and enjoy your food more. A good tip: eat with your other hand! You will automatically focus your attention on the food as you are not used to it.
• Exercise mindfulness in the shower! Do not try to think, just perceive. Do you notice how the water flows over your skin? Pay attention to the heat, the flow, the smell of your shampoo. You will see that showering gives even more energy in this way.
Everyone at Dokteronline.com wishes you a happy and relaxed new year!