Top Tips to achieve mindfulness
Go with the flow
Channel your inner thoughts and emotions – good or bad – and pay attention to what you are experiencing.
It is natural for your mind to wander
When this happens, take the time to identify and eliminate what you’re thinking about or being distracted by.
Find a partner
Practising mindfulness with like-minded people can provide you with the support and encouragement needed to keep you on track.
- Don’t worry!
Don’t worry about whether you are doing it wrong. Instead, try to enjoy the process of learning this new skill and stick to the commitment you made!
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness – which can also be known as awareness, attention and focus – is the state of being fully engaged in the present. Practicing mindfulness allows us to reconnect with our bodies and become fully aware of the sensations it is experiencing. This makes us more aware of our thoughts and feelings, and helps us not to feeling overwhelmed by them.
The best thing about mindfulness is that it is something everybody is able to practise. You don’t need to change to become more mindful; rather, you need to learn how to access mindfulness, as it cultivates who you are already and becomes a state of living.
Make sure it is mindfulness that you are practising; not mindlessness. Mindlessness involves discarding negative thoughts or creating false memories. This leads to a misalignment with reality: the opposite of mindfulness.
Mindfulness doesn’t always work and often it is not easy to get used to. Try not to worry if it isn’t working for you to begin with. Try again on a different day. As with many things, mindfulness takes practice and perseverance is key. If, after many attempts, it still isn’t working, it may be worth considering other things that you can do to help calm yourself.
How does being mindful help me in daily life?
Being mindful has many physical and mental benefits that can improve your outlook and overall quality of life.
Physically, practicing mindfulness can lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain and improve your sleep. The mental benefits of mindfulness are similarly numerous, as it helps to decrease stress and anxiety levels.
The benefits of mindfulness serve to improve your overall wellbeing. By focusing on the present, will be less worried about the future or preoccupied with the past. As a result, you may find you have reduced emotional reactivity, which can help to improve your focus in school, college or at work.
As well as improving the connection you have with yourself, mindfulness can improve your ability to empathise and communicate with those around you. In turn, this can have a positive impact on the relationships you have with friends, family and colleagues.
Meditation can be very beneficial for your metal health and general wellbeing. When you practise meditation, a process called neuroplasticity causes the shape of the brain to change. This has been scientifically proven to promote more positive thoughts and emotions.
Some breaking exercises include deep belly breathing, alternative nostril breathing and humming breathing. You can start by spending just 5 minutes on a breathing exercise as a part of calming yourself and becoming mindful.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Exercise and nature
Mindfulness doesn’t just have to occur in set practices. By taking part in gentle exercise such as yoga or going for a walk, you can actively become more mindful.
How can I practise mindfulness?
There are many steps you can take to become more mindful. Not all of them may be for you, but trying even just one of these things can set you on the path of reaching a balanced acceptance of the present.
How do you meditate?
Meditation can be highly beneficial, but often people don’t know where to start. Here are some tips that might help you:
- Make a commitment to yourself to make meditation part of your day. Find the best time to add meditation to your daily routine, such as in the morning or before sleeping.
Create an environment that is away from distractions. Find a quiet spot where you can relax. Try to avoid places with noise, bright lights or clutter, and consider adding to the atmosphere by lighting candles or playing gentle music.
Find a meditation posture that works for you. You can do this by taking a solid seat, straightening your upper body and allowing your chin and gaze to drop.
During meditation, become aware of the sensations your body is feeling and the sensory stimulations around you. Allow your emotions to become present and, as you notice them, accept them and then let them go.
Keep practicing! Eventually you will be able to incorporate the mindfulness you reach through meditation more actively into other parts of your day.
I think I might need some help... what do I do?
Mindfulness isn’t always as easy as it sounds… it is definitely one of those things that is “easier said than done”. If you are trying mindfulness and you are finding that it really isn’t helping you, or you are struggling, there are plenty of people who you can talk to in order to get some support.
Mindfulness is a great resource, but it isn’t always easy. Reach out for support!
Speak to us
Many of our mentors will practice mindfulness regularly. After all, it is quite a common way to help calm yourself. If you are struggling with mindfulness – whether it getting started or trying out different methods – reach out to our mentors.
Speak to somebody that you trust
You can always speak to somebody that you trust to help you with mindfulness. It might be a friend or a family member, but anyone may be able to help you out.
Use online forums and videos
There are so many resources online to help you out with mindfulness. There are lots of online groups that come together to share experiences and best practices, as well as plenty of YouTube videos!