Mental well-being can be just as important to your health as exercise and diet; if your mind is constantly racing or can’t focus, this can impact how you function in your day-to-day life. Practising ‘mindfulness’ may assist in helping to ground yourself and allow you to appreciate the moment you are in right now.
Mindfulness is the act of maintaining yourself in the present with a focus on the awareness of your body sensations, thoughts, feelings, and your surrounding environment.
Practising mindfulness activities can assist people to focus on what their body is feeling, understand the emotions they’re experiencing and help to ease anxiety.
The next time you feel yourself becoming overrun with thoughts, or maybe a little anxious, try the below mindfulness activities and take note of how you feel afterwards:
- Body Scan
While you’re standing or sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes and take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Notice how your body feels right now.
Starting from your feet and slowly working your way up to your head, tense each part of your body for 15 seconds and then release; notice the feeling of your body relaxing.
- Five Senses
While sitting in a comfortable upright position, one at a time, start to bring awareness to your five senses. For at least a minute each, focus on what you can see, smell, hear, feel, and taste.
When you finish the activity, notice how your body feels at this moment and compare it to how you felt five minutes ago.
Meditation can be a tool used to relax and focus on how the body is feeling (meditation can be done by everyone – not just monks & yoga gurus). Meditation requires you to be in a comfortable position, eyes closed, and focus on breathing in and out. Allowing yourself to feel your body and let your mind focus on the current moment.
There are lots of resources online, as well as audio options to assist you in meditating. Check out Headspace’s meditation resources here.
Life will always be busy, but by prioritising your mental well-being, you will be able to ground yourself and focus on the ‘right now’.
If you are experiencing mental health issues, please speak to a health professional.