This March, we’re focusing on Mindfulness. Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress, improve focus and positively impact our wellbeing, work, and relationships. So, what is it? Put simply, mindfulness is intentionally and non-judgementally observing the present moment. We already have the capacity to be present, but in a world of distractions, cultivating mindfulness takes practice. Mindfulness is not something you do ‘once a day’ like popping a multi-vitamin, it’s something you take with you throughout each day. Best of all, it’s free and anyone can do it. We’ll guide you through simple daily mindfulness exercises each day of this month, with each Saturday’s exercise being an opportunity to explore a popular mindfulness technique in greater detail. We suggest you read the daily prompt in the morning and consciously incorporate it into your day. Enjoy!
- Tuesday March 3
Pay a stranger a compliment or take time to smile and say hello to your neighbours.
- Wednesday March 4
Be conscious of your inner voice. If you think something negative, reframe the thought to a positive.
- Thursday March 5
Body Scan. Start at your toes and slowly move up to your head, noticing how each body part feels.
- Friday March 6
Make chores relaxing. Don’t rush or resent the chore, instead appreciate cleanliness and order.
- Saturday March 7 (advanced weekly practice)
Go for a Mindful Walk. Notice sounds, sights, sensations. Connect with the rhythm of your body.
Mindful Walking is an ancient meditative technique that is easy to incorporate into our lives because many of us do a bit of walking each day. But for the most part, while walking our mind is busy planning the future or analysing the past. In other words, we forget to be present. During a walking meditation, we connect to the here and now for a really revitalising and refreshing experience.
A walking meditation step by step… A walking meditation is likely slower than your usual pace because it is intentional, but it should feel natural. Notice how your body feels as you walk. Are you feeling tired or energetic? Stiff or comfortable?
Take a minute to observe your surroundings by acknowledging any shapes or colours, movements or stillness and then become aware of all the sounds you can hear around you. Next, notice if there are any smells.
What physical sensations are you feeling? Can you feel the sun on your face or a cool breeze in your hair or your feet touching the pavement as you walk? Acknowledge the sensations, without feeling the need to get involved in thinking about the feelings.
After a minute or two, gently shift your attention to the sensation of movement in the body or the rhythm of your walk. The physical sensation of your feet touching the ground anchors you to the present, much like the breath during a sitting meditation. Use it to bring you back whenever you find your mind wandering.
- Sunday March 8
Go device free. Switch your phone and computer off and enjoy time away from screens.
- Monday March 9
Eat mindfully, appreciating the colours, smells, textures and flavours as you chew each mouthful.
Click here for a downloadable PDF with this week's tips. Print it out and put it somewhere you'll see it every morning, like on your fridge or your desk.
Go to Mindful March - Week Two for next week's tips.