Around this time of year, people start reflecting on the year that was and making plans for the coming year. Many articles start appearing in popular magazines about turning over a new leaf. But talking about renewal and putting the ethos into practice can be two very separate things.
Rushing around and attempting to cram multiple activities into a small time period can cause anyone to become frazzled and overwhelmed. It is important to keep your attention in the now and not let fear, anxiety and consumption take over.
Rajesh Ramani, a former monk who teaches mindfulness and meditation at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary in Thailand said the importance of mindfulness lies in the need to capture the benefits of the everyday.
“Mindfulness is consciously paying attention to what’s there without trying to change it,” he says. “Your attention can fall on different things, whereas in meditation you learn to focus on one thing.”
According to Ramani, by practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, we have the ability to make a huge change, with very little effort.
Simply practicing mindfulness a few times a day, for 2-3 minutes can have a dramatic effect on your overall mental wellbeing.
Practice Mindful Eating and Drinking
It may sound ridiculous, but mindlessly munching down on a quick bite or slurping up a drink without thought or pause can be a perfect time for incorporating a bit of reflection into your life. Instead of drinking coffee to wake up, savour the flavour, breathe in the aromas and notice the warmth of the cup filling your palms. It’s the little things that count right?
You don’t need to be travelling at a snails pace to practice mindfulness whilst walking. Simply taking in the view, acknowledging your surroundings and taking note of your breath can be a perfect way to centre yourself and place your mind back in the now.
Every few hours make a conscious effort to reset your spine, and most importantly, your overall posture. Go for a short walk, turn off your computer screen and switch off for just a few minutes. Slow your breath, notice your thoughts and attempt to think of something apart from your job list. Simply changing task in your head will give you a surprising bust of energy.
First Thing in The Morning
Brushing your teeth, styling your hair or just putting on makeup can also be the perfect way to start your day in a mindful way. Focus on the sensations of your body, how your skin feels and take time to close your eyes and ease yourself out of sleep.