Our top tips!
- Go with the flow
Channel your thoughts and emotions – good or bad – and pay attention to what you are experiencing.
It’s natural for your mind to wander
When this happens, take the time to identify and let go of what you’re being distracted by.
Find a partner
Practising mindfulness with like-minded people can provide you with the support and encouragement needed to help you stay 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.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness 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 we are experiencing. This makes us more aware of our thoughts and feelings, and helps us to not feel overwhelmed by them.
The best thing about mindfulness is that it is something everybody is able to learn. You don’t need to change to become more mindful; you just need to learn how to practise mindfulness.
Make sure it is mindfulness that you are practising, not mindlessness. Mindlessness involves ignoring negative thoughts or creating false memories.
Mindfulness doesn’t always work and it’s not always 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 persistence is key.
How can being mindful help me?
Being mindful has many physical and mental benefits that can improve your wellbeing.
Physically, practising mindfulness can improve your sleep, lower blood pressure, and reduce chronic pain.
Mindfulness can also help to lower feelings of stress and anxiety. By focusing on the present, you will be less worried about the future or preoccupied with the past. As a result, you may feel calmer, which can help you to improve your focus in school, college or at work.
As well as helping you to better understand yourself, mindfulness can improve your ability to empathise and communicate with those around you. This can have a positive impact on your relationships with friends, family and colleagues.
Some breathing 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
If you find that mindfulness is difficult for you to achieve alone, you can take part in MBCT, which combines Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness practices in a group setting.
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 become more mindful.
How can I practise mindfulness?
There are many steps you can take to start practising mindfulness. Not all of them may be for you, but trying even just one of these ideas could help you to become more mindful.
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 going to sleep.
Create an environment that is free 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. As you notice your thoughts and emotions, accept them and then let them go.
Keep practising! Eventually you will be able to incorporate the mindfulness you achieve through meditation 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. If you are trying mindfulness and you find that it really isn’t helping you, or you’re struggling, there are plenty of people you can talk to in order to get support.
Speak to us
Many of our mentors will practice mindfulness regularly. If you are struggling with mindfulness – whether it’s getting started or trying out different methods – reach out to our friendly mentors.
Speak to somebody 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!