One of the buzz words in the health and wellness world at the moment is mindfulness. To be mindful is to be conscious or aware. For me, it’s about slowing down, enjoying life, being present and living in the moment.
Here are my top tips for mindfulness:
Breathe – start and finish your day with 10 deep breaths that extend right down into your diaphragm. Breathing in this way communicates to your body that you are safe. Place your hand on your stomach as your breathe, if you are breathing properly you should feel your belly rise and fall. If you don’t, it means you are taking short sharp breaths that only extend into your chest.
Chew your food – prepare each meal, give thanks for each meal, sit down and enjoy your food in a calm and relaxed environment. Concentrate on chewing each mouthful until it is liquid. Engaging with our food results in an improved relationship between our food and body.
Sleep – aim for 7-9 hours each night. Sleep is the best form of meditation. Our body cannot function optimally without adequate sleep. Bonus points if you’re asleep before 11pm. You can read my top tips for restful sleep here.
Walk barefoot – walk or run barefoot on the earth (grass, dirt or sand). This is called grounding. Recent research shows that electrons gained from barefoot contact with the earth supports the nervous system, immune system and reduces inflammation.
Meditate – meditation isn’t about silencing the mind. A successful meditation session does not involve zero thoughts. Meditation is about embracing your mind, it’s about accepting thoughts as they come to the forefront, letting them pass through your mind but not acting on them or concentrating on them. Read more about meditation here.
Me-time – schedule some time for yourself each day, even if it’s only 5 minutes each day. Do something that you enjoy. Bonus points if you do something that encourages you to focus on your breathing such as yoga, meditation or a hot bath.
Be present – when you start feeling stressed, anxious or unhappy bring your attention back to the present moment. Deep breathing is the best way to bring your attention to the present moment.
Do one thing at a time – do you find yourself instagramming while you eat, facebooking whilst talking on the phone, reading the news whilst making a coffee or checking your emails whilst on the toilet?Multi-tasking does not get things done quicker. It actually decreases your productivity and increases mistakes, whilst placing unnecessary stress on your nervous system.
Can you add any other tips to this list?