Of course, you have the intention to stress less next year. But the New Year is barely over and your planning is already filling up: the dog gets sick, laundry is piling up and your tax bill is already in. How can you manage not to lose your head? The answer to this pressing question is mindfulness! Do you feel like your just going from day to day trying to make it by? Mindfulness may be a good practice for you here is why.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is hot, hip and happening. You cannot open a newspaper or web page without seeing offers for courses, practice groups or self-help books.
But what is mindfulness? Yoga, meditation, something with Zen? Mindfulness does not mean you are meditating for hours a day, but you have to free some time for it. Literally mindful means “perceptive”. And although the concept is strongly based on Eastern traditions such as yoga, you can easily apply it in daily life. Mindfulness is based on the principle that you unwind when you do things with your full attention. That seems simple but is quite a task to do so in our hectic lives.
How does mindfulness work?
If you want to have a mindful year, you will have to learn to focus on the here and now. Mindfulness is actually the opposite of life on autopilot. Instead of spreading your attention over fifty things at once (your phone, your child, the pan on the stove, your calendar), try to focus on one thing. You can learn this through short exercises that will help you perform everyday activities with your full attention, such as enjoying breakfast or having a conversation. The result is peace of mind, less stress, less worry and more energy.
Why be mindful?
Mindfulness has a huge impact on your well-being! By living with less stress, your body can relax better. Therefore you sleep better, you concentrate better and you are more able to relativize fears and worries. As if that were not enough, mindfulness also has a good effect on your blood pressure and immune system.
Benefits of mindfulness
- You have less stress
- You are more focused and can concentrate better
- You can cope better with emotions
- It increases your creativity
- You have more mental resilience
- You live more in the now
- You can deal better with stress
- You are more aware of challenges
- You get more confidentIt reduces Physical complaints
- You sleep better
- Mindfulness is recommended for chronic conditions, particularly for assisting pain management.
We understand that mindfulness is easier said than done. Therefore, we have some tips for you to practice: Now and then do nothing for a quarter of an hour. Turn off your phone and the TV, ignore all rushing thoughts and just pay attention to your breathing. Talk with attention. Focus on your partner and listen closely. Only when it is your turn to talk, you begin to think of what to say. Also, eat mindfully! Instead of gobbling mindlessly, you concentrate on the taste, the texture, the temperature of each bite. You will find that you eat less, the food tastes better and you enjoy it more. A good tip: eat with your other hand. Because you are not used to it, you have got to keep your attention. Practice mindfulness in the shower. Try not to think but only to observe. Notice how the water flows over your skin. Note the heat, the steam, the smell of your shampoo. You will see that showering in this way provides more energy.