getting the most from mindfulness

Mindfulness is about living in the present moment, without judgement and appreciating what is happening and enjoying the simple things in life.  You might take notice and be aware of your mind, body or surroundings.

Mindfulness can help us to feel calmer, reduce stress or anxiety, sleep better, cope better with difficult situations and thoughts and be kinder to ourselves.

To get the most out of mindfulness exercises, try to:

  • Pay attention. Focus on things you can see, hear, smell, taste or touch. For example, when you eat your lunch, focus on what you are eating, the bites you are taking and enjoying the taste and how it makes you feel.
  • Take notice. When your mind wanders, just notice where your thoughts have drifted to and then let them go. It might be useful to acknowledge the feelings and thoughts that come up. For example, you could think to yourself ‘this is a feeling of envy’, or ‘here is the thought that I’m not good enough’.
  • Be aware and accepting. Notice and be aware of the emotions you are feeling or sensations in your body. Accept these feelings with curiosity and without judgement.
  • Choose to bring your attention back. Bring your attention back to the present moment. You could do this by focusing on your breathing or another sensation in your body, the feel of the wind if you are walking for example. Or you could focus on your surroundings – what you can see, hear, smell, touch or taste.
  • Be kind to yourself.  Try not to be critical of yourself. When you notice your mind wandering, bring yourself back to the present moment