Ever wondered why some people seem to glide through day-to-day life seamlessly? We asked them how to unlock an easier existence
Mindfulness may seem mystifying if you haven’t heard of it before, but it’s been practised for thousands of years. “It’s a quality that everybody already possesses, so you should try harnessing the ability to use it effectively, rather than thinking you need to try and learn a new core skill,” says Kate Binnie, registered mindfulness teacher and co-creator of (natiacares.com). “We’re so consumed with the pressures of everyday life, that we forget to pause, collect our thoughts and simply be.” But, if we’re just beginning our journey into the realm of mindfulness, what can we learn from the people who practise it regularly? To find out, we chatted to the experts.
Doing a million things at once has been proven to slow down your productivity and lower the quality of your work, according to studies done by the University of Stanford. “Ensure that your attention has a sole focus,” says Kate. “Commit your energy to the task in hand. Even it’s for a short period of time, try not to let it divert to something else. Making a conscious effort to channel your focus in a particular direction and bringing your wandering mind back to the present moment will have long-term benefits, such as regulating your emotions and boosting concentration.”
TIP: While it’s all well and good trying to eradicate distractions, the best thing you can do to help you keep your brain focused is observe the urge that it has to move onto something different, and redirect your attention back to the task at hand. It may take a few times before you get the hang of it, but persevere.
Being mindful means we’re considerate of both our body and mind, so if you’re keen to prioritise your wellbeing, consider peppering your weekly routine with rest bites. Schedule time out to disconnect from the busy world and it will help to reframe your outlook.
TIP: “Taking a warm bath with magnesium flakes or massaging a topical oil into your skin is a relaxing way to remineralise and could help you to find your ‘zen’,” says Keeley Berry, nutritional and mindfulness expert, (betteryou.com).
Not only does establishing a routine help to provide a sense of stability and continuity in your life, it can provide relief from everyday stresses and concerns. Whether it’s practising mediation first thing, making your bed, or having your morning tea at the same time each day, our routines help us build momentum to carry us through even the most difficult days.
TIP: Struggling to establish a routine? One of the best ways to start is to add small tasks that can be done in small windows of time. “Choosing your clothing or preparing meals ahead of time at the start of your week will help you to feel more in control and enjoy the moment,” says Keeley.
Research shows our colour choices can impact our emotions, and that choosing the right shade can boost our self-esteem. According to a study done by the University of Cyprus, bold colours such as red and purple can make you feel enthusiastic and energised, whereas pink can help you be more compassionate. Shades of green can help you feel balanced, whereas blue can help you settle your nerves.
TIP: Once you’ve decided what you want to wear, mindfully ask what it is you love about your outfit. Is it the colours, or do you like the way it fits? This will help you bring awareness back to your decision making.
It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of social media, but mindful people are far more aware of their ‘ego’ and how it can manifest online. Rather than comparing yourself to others and perfecting your feed, try to make your social media presence more about community and connecting with other like-minded people.”
TIP: Make sure that you try and take a step back from social media regularly, and when you do choose to use it, remind yourself of your social media ego and soul and make an effort to balance them out.
Curiosity and trying new things is a huge part of mindfulness. “Mindfulness is a personal, individual experience and there is no ‘onesize- fits-all’ approach,” explains Kate.
TIP: “Sitting meditation doesn’t suit everyone; try mindful gardening, washing up, walking or cooking,” says Kate. “Do whatever it is that you enjoy. There are a variety of apps available to support individuals.” Try Headspace, Buddhify or Calm, available on the app store.
A study done in 2016 by Public Library of Science showed that noise negatively affects our focus and sleep, as well as increasing our body’s production of stress hormones.
TIP: Those who meditate or pray regularly reap the health benefits, but a simple way to get more silence into your life can be to rise early in the morning or go to bed later. The world is much quieter when people are sleeping.
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