Mindfulness isn’t difficult we just need to do it!

Mindfulness is a great technique to learn to help you notice what is happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings).

By being mindful you can become more self-aware, feel calmer and less stressed allowing you to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings. This will help you to cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts and allow you to be kinder towards yourself.

Many people find practising mindfulness helps them manage their day-to-day wellbeing, but it does not always work for everyone.

How does mindfulness work?

The way we think (and what we think about) can affect how we feel and act. For those who worry a lot this can cause greater feelings of sadness and anxiety. By using mindfulness, it helps to bring your attention back to the present (usually focusing on your body and your breathing), you can:

  1. Notice how thoughts come and go in your mind, you may learn that they do not have to define who you are, or your experience of the world, and you can let go of them.
  2. Notice what your body is telling you, for example, tension or anxiety can often be felt in your body, such as a racing heart, tense muscles or shallow breathing.
  3. Create space between you and your thoughts so you can react more calmly.

Exercises to try

Here are a few exercises you could try. Different things work for different people, so if you do not find one exercise useful, try another.

  1. Mindful eating, pay attention to the taste, sight and texture of what you eat.
  2. Mindful moving, walking or running, notice the feeling of your body moving, the breeze against you skin, the texture on your hands or the smells around you.
  3. Body scan, move your attention slowly through different parts of the body, starting from your head all the way to your toes. Focus on feelings of warmth, tension, tingling or relaxation of different parts of the body.
  4. Mindful colouring or drawing, focus on the colours and sensation of the pencil against the paper.
  5. Mindful meditation, sit quietly and focus on your breathing, your thoughts, sensations and things you hear. Try to bring your focus back to the present if your mind starts to wander. Yoga can also be extremely beneficial.

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