Does your mind feel like an open browser with 100 tabs open? Or are you always feeling stressed, overwhelmed, maybe you have a never-ending to-do list, chores to do at home, friends to call and catch up with, plus a family to run, or are worried about your health, losing weight or have so much on your mind you can’t fall asleep at night? If you answered yes to any of the above them it may be time to consider incorporating some mindfulness practice into your lifestyle.
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, and all for good reasons! Study after study has shown that adopting a regular mindfulness practice can significantly reduce levels of stress, and can make a positive impact on mental and physical well-being.
So what mindfulness?
Mindfulness is learning to focus our attention in the present moment.
Benefits of mindfulness:
- Reduced stress and anxiety levels
- Increased focus and concentration
- You learn to be more aware of your senses
- You’re able to react more calmly to stressful, unforeseen situations
- Begin to be more present by living in the now
- Increase happiness
- Become more self-aware
- Boost in working memory
- Increased empathy and compassion
I’ll be the first to admit that when I started meditating and incorporating mindfulness into my lifestyle 8 years ago it was a challenge. It’s like anything in life, it takes time, practice and patience, but over time we gain many benefits.
Mindfulness is something I talk about with all my clients. I see many clients trying to lose weight, improve their digestive system, sleep habits, increase their energy levels, many of them have an amazing diet and exercise regulatory but often their stress levels are so high and they are constantly feeling overwhelmed, that this is a main causative factor in them not being able to reach their health goal.
When you’re stressed your body isn’t able to break down food effectively, often leading to bloating, constipation, which can lead to irritability, anxiety, weight gain, even hormonal imbalances. An overactive can lead to troubles falling asleep at night. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of mindfulness in our daily lives.
Here are 6 ways you can incorporate mindfulness practices into your week.
Give yourself a challenge and see if you can do one of these over the next week.
- Put your legs up against the wall for 15 minutes
- Have a bath – why not add 1 cup of Epsom salts for an extra cleansing and detox ritual
- Read a book in bed before you go to sleep – dim the lights and put on a candle so eventually you can nod off and go into a deep restful sleep
- Breath diaphragmatically (from your belly) – letting your belly rise and fall for 5 minutes, focus on our breath (breathing in, hold for a couple of counts, breathe out, repeat this over and over)
- Go to a yin yoga class – or practice one at home