When it comes to popular lifestyle hacks that are trending right now, mindfulness is right up there. Its fans swear it’s good for helping us reduce our anxiety, relieve stress and calm the chaos in our heads. To some of us, it might sound like it’s just one more thing to do. But if you’re ‘a less is more person’, stick around because you might like the sound of this.
What is mindfulness?
The celebrity doctor who brought us the popular New Zealand TV series ‘Is Modern Medicine Killing You’ and more recently ‘Vampire Facials’, Dr Frances Pitsilis says, “Mindfulness is a form of being in the moment with yourself. It isn’t about emptying your mind of all thoughts, but about giving yourself a focus.” Think of it as ‘taking time to smell the roses’ (just more interesting), or simply being in the moment.
How to practise mindfulness
Dr Pitsillis says mindfulness activities include focusing on your breath, or the music you’re listening to (and nothing else), or just taking a walk. On your walk, allow yourself to notice, and focus on, how the grass feels beneath your feet, the various smells in the air; the sounds and scenes around you.
Don’t judge what you observe or feel, just acknowledge it, Dr Pitsillis says. The same for those annoying itches like the ones that kept springing up when you tried meditation that once, not to mention annoying noises or leg cramps – just note the sights, noises, feelings, smells, and let them go like the carriages of a passing train. Then, bring yourself back to your focus.
It gets easier the more you do it, and with it comes benefits like coping better with challenging situations, improved concentration, better health, happiness and a more peaceful you.
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