• Kay Johnston

Everyday Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to involve sitting in a chair, feet flat on the floor, hands in lap and eyes softly closed. If you not the type of person who can sit still and meditate or you get easily distracted, then perhaps try using mindfulness in other more practical ways.

Mindfulness is simply taking notice of the here and now. It allows you to move away from thoughts of the past or worries of the future.

Mindfulness enable you to focus on the senses; sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. And you don’t have to do all five at once.

Simple Ideas to try ….

Mindfulness walk

Make sure you keep yourself safe and aware of the environment you are walking in.

When you’re ready to begin, and walking at your normal pace, with your arms in their usual position, start to walk and count to 10, feeling the ground with each step.

As you take each step, notice the rising and falling of your feet on the floor, notice how your body moves and the movement from side to side. Do this for a couple of minutes until your feel connected to your feet. If your mind wanders bring it back to focus on your feet moving up and down.

Next look around what can you see, focus on the colours, the shapes. When your mind wanders bring your awareness back to what you can see here and now.

Next bring your awareness to what you can hear, the wind, the birds, traffic, other people. If your mind wanders take it back to listening to what is going on here and now.

Then focus your mind on what can you feel, the sun, the wind, the rain. Keep your mind focused on what you are feeling in the here and now.

Finally, when you’re ready, go back to focusing on your feet on the ground. Keep guiding your mind each time it wanders back to your feet.

When you feel ready to finish, pause, stand still for a moment and take notice of how you feel.

Do this for however long you feel comfortable doing it. At first you might just manage a couple of minutes but with practice it can be built up to a longer more fulfilling walk.

Mindful Eating

Often, we all sit in front the of the TV eating our meals and not taking much notice of what we are putting in our mouths.

There is also growing research that Mindfulness eating can help with weight management. Double bonus, relaxation and loss weight.

To eat mindfully, make sure you are sitting away from any distractions, i.e. the TV. If you don’t have a table/breakfast bar to eat your meals at, eat your meal on the sofa but switch the TV off.

Mindfulness eating is based again on using the senses; taste, smell, feel.

Smell the food and take a good look at it before you start eating, build some anticipation – make your mouth water. Mindful eating is about taking your time to appreciate every mouthful and is never a rush.

With every mouthful you take, savour the taste of the food, chew each mouthful and appreciate all the different flavours and tastes.

How does the food feel in your mouth i.e. is it lumpy, chewy, dry, soft etc. Focus purely on the process of eating, enjoy the sense stimulation with every mouthful.

If you feel your mind wandering at any moment, re focus on one of the sense, i.e. the taste of the food, the texture etc. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you mind keeps wander, just bring it back and focus on your next mouthful.

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