Here are our top seven mindfulness tips for introducing mindfulness into your life today.
1. Take the first step and try it
There is a saying that mindfulness is easy, you just need to remember to do it. The best way to get started is to find a mindfulness exercise and to try it with an open mind and sense of curiosity.
2. Start small
We all have busy minds that are constantly chattering to us, and that can be off putting when starting to learn mindfulness meditation, however the purpose of meditation and formal mindfulness practice is to strengthen the mind against this wandering. In the same way that you don’t need to be a professional athlete before you start visiting a gym, you don’t need to be an expert with a clear mind before you start meditating.
3. Little and often practice is important
It’s better to practise mindfulness for 10 minutes every day than to have two longer sessions a week. Very few new habits and skills can be built up if you only practise once a week so it’s a good idea to do some mindfulness daily.
4. Do it at the same time each day
This is less about getting maximum benefits and more about making the practise an easy to implement habit. If you can make it part of your normal daily routine that you carry out every day, you are more likely to do it. Ideally choose a time when you won’t be disturbed and when you are not so tired that you fall asleep.
5. Keep an eye on what’s going on in your mind
Aim to become the observer of your thoughts. If you notice that your mind is wandering, gently bring awareness back to either your breath or the feeling of your feet on the floor. This helps bring the mind back into the present moment and to experience the here and now through the 5 senses rather than just through the fog of the thinking mind.
6. Enlist some friends
It can help to practise mIndfulness with friends. This is a lovely experience to share and can help you implement the practice regularly. Alternatively, check out our community pages and groups to find the next online drop in mindfulness session, and to meet and chat to like minded people at various stages in the journey.
7. Choose an every day activity to practise mindfully.
This could be folding the laundry or making a cup of tea. The key is to keep your undivided attention on the task at hand, experiencing the activity through all senses in the present moment, and just notice any thoughts that arise or any judgements or emotions that surface as you carry out a task. When I started learning mindfulness I used emptying the dishwasher as my task to practise mindfully. I realised quickly that I disliked doing this task, so would find as many distractions as I could while I was meant to be doing it. This meant the task took 15 minutes rather than 5 which reinforced my perception that it was a nightmare task to do. When I approached it mindfully, the whole thing was done in 5 minutes and I noticed that I did get some satisfaction from seeing the cupboards full of sparkly glasses and crockery ready for my much preferred activities, cooking and eating!