How 'Mindfulness' can help support your Mental Health
Mindfulness is reconnecting with ourselves, waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a handrail as we walk upstairs, noticing our thoughts and feelings as they happen or allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly.
When we do these things we can positively change our mental health and the way we see ourselves and our lives.
How can you be mindful?
Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.
Here are some top tips to start using mindfulness in your life:
Notice the everyday - even as we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk. All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the 'autopilot' mode we often engage day-to-day and to give us new perspectives on life.
Keep it regular - it can be helpful to pick a regular time – a morning coffee or a walk at lunchtime – during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.
Try something new - trying new things, such as sitting in a different chair while working from home, or going somewhere new on a lunchtime walk can also help you notice the world in a new way.
Watch your thoughts - some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness and change their thoughts, It is useful to remember that mindfulness isn't about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events.
Name thoughts and feelings - develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: "Here's the thought that I might fail at something". Or, "This is anxiety".
Free yourself from the past and future - you can practise mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that you have been thinking about past problems or "pre-living" future worries.