You probably keep hearing about ‘mindfulness’ and how it’s great for your personal wellbeing and mental health. But what exactly is it? Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present, which can be hard to do with our increasingly busy lifestyles.
Other than helping you destress and relax, there are so many other benefits that come from adding a little bit of mindfulness to your day – lower heart rate and blood pressure, increased focus and brain function, lower levels of anxiety and more feelings of calm.
Here are a few ways to add a simple dash of mindfulness to your daily routine.
- Meditate: Many people try out meditation, then give up quickly because they’re not ‘good’ at it. Meditation is called a ‘practice’ for a reason- you can never fully master it, so you can never actually be bad at it! Try sitting in a quiet place and focusing on your breathing. If it helps, you can count your breaths, repeat ‘in and out’ along with your breath or use a mantra. Don’t worry if your mind wanders- the very act of noticing that your mind has wandered is meditation!
- Practice gratitude: Gratitude journals have been having a bit of a moment lately, and for good reason. Try writing down three things that you’re grateful for every morning to start your day on the right foot and put yourself in a good mood.
- Take some ‘me time’: Life can get a bit hectic, especially with work, family and all of our other commitments, so make sure you’re allowing yourself some time out. Read a book, have a bath, come to the gym… whatever you like doing that is truly for YOU, not anyone else!
- Minimise screen time: While our phones and laptops can make our lives easier, there have also been studies showing links between more screen time and increased risk of depression and anxiety. Switch off your phone at night, eat your meals without checking out Facebook and stop the mindless scrolling just to fill in your time. Your mind will thank you!
- Get your body moving: Obviously we’re huge proponents for the benefits of exercise, but we just can’t stress enough how good it is! Going for a walk in nature is an excellent mindfulness exercise, as is stretching or performing a yoga routine. Alternatively, maybe lifting some heavy weights helps you feel mindful and connected! Everyone has their own preferences – find what makes you feel good.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your physical health as well as your mental health, apply for a free 3 day trial here and come in to Glenorchy Health and Fitness to see what we can do for you.