Ten mindfulness tips for overall well-being
Ten mindfulness tips for overall well-being
Do you sometimes feel your life is out of balance? Do you get the sense that important moments are passing you by? Or that you are not enjoying life to the full? For many people, mindfulness is the magic word that provides the answer to all these problems and helps restore a healthy balance between body and mind. But what does practising mindfulness actually mean? Put simply, it is about making a conscious decision to live in the here and now.
To help clarify what this involves, we have come up with ten key tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life and achieve long-term gains in your overall well-being.
Consciously practising belly breathing can help you to find a sense of calm and to focus on your inner self. Breathing in and out deeply and slowly gives you an opportunity to reflect on your inner balance. By listening to yourself, you can often achieve a sense of peace and calm within a matter of minutes. Practising this when you wake up helps get your day off to a conscious start. But you can also try it whenever you have a free moment or when preparing for something that requires concentration – both in your personal and professional life.
Break out of your routines
Paying attention to things is important – not just to what is going on inside you, but also to what is happening around you. A good way to do this is by breaking out of your daily routines. Sometimes it can be enough to simply become more conscious of your routines as you perform them and use these new insights to make little changes. Another option is to come up with entirely new routines to keep your mind active. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Get out of bed on the other side.
- Hold your toothbrush in a different hand when brushing your teeth.
- Find a new route to work.
- If you tend to be a talker, try being a listener, and vice versa.
- Explore a new genre of entertainment, whether in the realm of music, films or books.
Train your senses
One way to learn mindfulness is to consciously and deliberately engage with your senses. That means deepening your awareness of what is around you right now. What can you smell? What objects and colours can you see? How do the things around you feel? What do they look like? And what sounds can you hear? Writing down your impressions and sensations can actually enhance the learning effect of this kind of mindful awareness.
Make sure to take regular breaks from your phone, TV and similar distractions. One way to practise mindfulness is by undertaking a digital detox, where you consciously disengage from screens and any other media for a few hours, a whole day or even an entire weekend. That opens up more space for your own thoughts and helps you engage more fully with yourself.
Do things you find fulfilling
We all have things in our life that stress us out and sap our energy. But it is just as important to understand what invigorates us and fills us with positive feelings. Practising mindfulness is about letting ourselves enjoy more of these pleasurable experiences.
To do this, we need to discover what things give us this sense of fulfilment. Then we can consciously choose to spend more time on these beneficial moments of “me time”. These might include reading a good book while enjoying a cup of tea, taking a hot bath, or hiking in the woods. Engaging with things that have a positive effect on us gives us the strength to overcome negative aspects of our lives.
This tip may sound contradictory after talking about doing what is good for us! After all, most people do not regard tidying up as one of their favourite activities. Yet creating a sense of order can be a useful path to mindfulness. By striving to keep our surroundings tidy, we can develop a heightened sense of alertness and the ability to instinctively understand our own effect on our environment.
Have you ever focused your full attention on the act of walking by being conscious of each and every step you take? If not, then now is the time to try mindful walking! Being aware of each step we take can help us bring our thoughts back to the present. Try and incorporate a walking meditation into your everyday routine – even if you are just strolling to the coffee machine or the photocopier. Walking a little slower than usual can help heighten the effect.
It may seem impressive to be able to do several things at once, but it is not a great way to practise mindfulness. Instead, devote yourself to one task at a time and complete each task before moving on to the next. Apply this in both your personal and professional life. For example, when you are having a meal, try to focus your full attention on your food and the process of eating. Avoid turning on the TV or looking at your mobile phone and instead concentrate fully on the activity you are engaged in.
Gaze into the distance
This can make a real difference to those of us who spend hours each day in front of the computer. Every 30 minutes, look up from the screen and focus on something as far away as possible. That might mean gazing out the window or looking at a wall on the other side of the room. Rather than just a quick glance, try to consciously pay attention to what you are looking at and what you are feeling. As an added benefit, this also relaxes your eye muscles.
What are you grateful for? Answer this question spontaneously by expressing gratitude for three things. You can write your response down, say it out loud or just think it in your head. Sometimes we just plough through our daily routines without thinking, especially when things get stressful. Reflecting on the positive is a quick way of reminding us how fortunate we are. And perhaps you can even manage to turn this exercise into a new routine.
How mindful am I? This is a great question to ask yourself, especially at the start of the new year. Try out our mindfulness exercises to find out which one works best for you. We would love to get your feedback, so feel free to share the results on our Instagram account!