Mindfulness – do you practise it?

It’s my #1 goal right now and for good reason.

Mindfulness is the idea of being aware of what’s going around (and inside you). So often we just go through life – going without stopping to look, touch, smell, listen, think. Practising mindfulness can AMPLIFY our ability to be present, uncover a fresh perspective and LIVE ABUNDANTLY. Start making the MOST of each day and STOP to smell the daisies. Give more HUGS (they’re free after all). Breathe in the fresh air, embrace life’s natural gifts , be glad you’re ALIVE. Listen more, Listen more intently, Listen like you MEAN IT. Think MORE, Think BIG, See a DIFFERENT picture.

Mindfulness is the idea of being aware of what is going on around you (and inside you). So often we go through life just going, going, going — and we don’t stop to look, touch, smell, listen, think.

In a nutshell, the concept of mindfulness is about living in the present moment, and being conscious of making the most of each and every day. It’s about appreciating the little things (moments in your everyday that you consciously do, but sub-consciously ignore) and not letting life pass you by.

An example we all know too well is that moment when you’re deep in conversation with a friend and they, without realising, pull out their phone and start texting/scrolling/calling. “Girl, oh no you didn’t”. It happens; I’m guilty of it and I bet you are too. That’s cool and all, but with the rise of social media it’s hard to appreciate a moment without it going through the snap/filter/upload/tag process. But I have faith we can change this, simply by being more mindful of our behaviours and how they affect ours, and others, daily lives.

If you’re catching yourself nodding and uh-ha-ing to this, then there’s no doubt you could do with a few mindfulness manners – techniques you can personally use to be more present, and in turn lead a more mindful, abundant existence.

1. Walk as if you have no destination

We are such busy bee’s, jolting from one destination to the next. There is this constant “tick-that-off” mentality running through our minds, a mile long checklist that turns us into these crazed superwomen wannabes – I have to achieve it all. But have you ever considered stopping for a moment. Throwing those obligations to the back burner, and committing to just ‘being’. One way to do this, and witness the sheer power of mindful living is to simply take a walk. No destination in mind, just strolling, soaking in the sounds, the smells, and the day. Remember this: There is nowhere more important for you to be than right here, right now.

2. At meal time (hint: chewing is required)

When you’re ravenous, nothing will stop you from digging into your dish 100 miles per hour (especially if it’s one of your can’t-live-without-meals). Do you ever think about how the food got on your plate? Who grew it, nurtured it, transported it and stocked it on the shelf? Conscious chewing is a nice way to look at it. Next time you sit down to a nourishing meal, not only think about the output these delicious nutrients will give you, like loads of energy, but take a moment to pay gratitude for the ability to eat, nourish your body and thanks to the individuals who helped make it all happen.

3. Before bedtime

Allow yourself 30 minutes tech-free time before you hit the pillow, this will set you up for a more peaceful, mindful nights sleep. When you get into bed, notice your body letting go. Focus on each muscle one-by-one and slowly let your mind and body drift off to sleep. Don’t let your mind analyse what has been, what could be done differently or what shouldn’t have been done at all. Realise this is in the past, what’s done is done. Instead, focus on the physical and let your mind, and body rest.

4. In the car

The next time you set foot in your car, take this as an opportunity to be more mindful. When stopping at a red light, take the time to breathe deeply, filling your lungs and emptying them completely. Count how many times you can do this and notice what’s around you. You will be pleasantly surprised the next time a light turns from green to red, you will no longer feel a burning rage, but a sigh of relief for the opportunity to reflect and just breathe.

These small acts of mindfulness may not seem like much, but I can assure you they will amount to a whole lot of added richness to your life. If you can get through the day focussed on the present moment, slowing things down and engaging with people with meaning and intent, your day will feel all the more brighter and so too will your future.

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