We are all getting back into our routines after a beautiful summer. Some of us have spent time away discovering new countries and others have preferred to stay at home enjoying that well-deserved rest.
As routine resumes, everyday 'problems' may arise. We might feel stressed at work,sometimes relationships become a little trickier when the routine kicks in; sometimes we might not even know why but we don't feel ourselves. All these situations in our life can make us wish for holidays or time off work when we know we are the happiest. The truth is though, anticipating what is to come or reminiscing about what has gone only stops us from living and experiencing the present. Not many people enjoy the present moment these days.Here is where such a powerful word as 'Mindfulness' steps in. Living a mindful life will help us calm the chaos within us and in our lives. It is not a medicine. It doesn't make the bad and sad disappear, it doesn't protect us from things going wrong. Mindfulness helps us look at ourselves, honestly and gently, so we are capable of identifying our emotions. By doing that, we are embracing where we are, what our minds are thinking and how our soul is feeling there and then. We are practising self-awareness, which is what Mindfulness really is – when mind, body and soul are in the same place is when you can really live in the moment.Now we know what mindfulness is, but how do we practise it? How do we live a mindful life? Well, the simplest step you can take is to start with your breathing. Breathing is always present, always with us. Listen to your breathing and be aware of each inhale and exhale. Sometimes when we are agitated our breathing gets short and shallow and not enough oxygen gets into our heart. Therefore it starts beating faster. Notice that, and take a long deep breath. Feel the air filling up your lungs and start getting in touch with your emotions. You will feel more re-energised and joyful for life again.You can also give mindful moving a try when you are walking to work or running in the park. Notice the feeling of your body moving. You might feel the sun, rain or breeze on your skin, the impact of your feet against the ground, and all the different smells around you.
Another easy step towards a more mindful life is to practise mindful eating. Many of us eat our meals very quickly, sometimes on our desks, while we are replying to emails or thinking how our day is going to unfold afterwards. Stop, breath and start your meal by looking at your food. Notice the colours, smells, feel the texture in your mouth and how your taste buds react to the flavours. You don't have to carry out this practise through the whole meal but try it every now and then to focus your attention.Living more mindfully will help us enter a state of "being" rather than "doing" and will stop our minds from worrying too much. Practising mindfulness between five to ten minutes a day will allow us to enjoy the little things that we easily take for granted in order to live a more enjoyable and present life.
Have you had a mindful moment today yet?