“Wherever you are, be there totally”- Eckhart Tolle
When was the last time you stopped in your tracks to smell a flower?Or gazed up at the night sky in awe of the stars?
It’s a shame these simple acts have a somewhat ‘hippy’ connotation to them, because the simple act of stopping and being is FAR more than what it can sometimes be made out to be.
In fact, mindfulness is an extremely important part of living a happy, healthy and relaxed life.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness refers to being fully in the present moment. Often we are thinking ahead – about things that lie before us (our future), or dwelling on past mistakes, and things that have happened to us before (our past). It is rare in this day and age to practice full presence – that is, focusing our mind on the here and the now.
Mindfulness allows us to do this.
Why does mindfulness matter to our wellbeing?
Mental health is a significant component to overall wellbeing (it is MIND, body and soul, after all). Our mental wellbeing is significantly impacted by our thoughts.
When we are not consciously aware of our thoughts and that we actually can control our mindset, we can end up feeling far more stressed, worried, anxious and depressed than necessary.
There is a saying that goes: when you live in the past, that is depression. When you live in the future, that is anxiety. When you live in the present, that is peace.
Mindfulness is exceptionally important to our wellbeing as it allows us to consciously focus on the here and now. And when we are truly in the present moment, worry and stress do not exist.
How can you be more mindful each day?
Mindfulness really is as simple as stopping to smell the roses. It is about truly BEING in the moment, focused on what you are doing at that exact point in time.
A lot of the time people are resistant to mindfulness as they believe they cannot “turn off their thoughts”. This isn’t what mindfulness is about. It is, though, about CATCHING you mind when it wanders, and gently brining it back to the present moment.
For instance, when you are brushing your teeth – rather than worrying about the day ahead or thinking about something that happened yesterday, direct your mind to the simple act of brushing.
What do you feel in that moment? How do the bristles sound? What do you smell?
An easy way to connect with the present moment is to rally off your 5 senses:
- What do you see?
- What can you smell?
- What can you taste?
- What do you hear?
- What can you feel?
In connecting with your physical senses, you are directing your focus back to the present moment, and your mind has nowhere to be but here and now.
Try it. Next time you catch yourself worrying or stressed about the past or the future, bring your senses back here. Stop and smell the roses.
Literally! And watch how easily stress melts away, and life unfolds for you.
More simple ways to introduce mindfulness in your day can be found here.