What is Mindfulness? Why is it Important?
Mindfulness is a way of helping your mind to be focused on what is happening right now. Not what has happened in the past, or what might happen tomorrow...but what is going on in this moment. Mindfulness matters because it can help our brain have a rest from worries. When we spend time to notice the present moment, we get a break from things that may trouble us. Even though our thoughts might be very busy, it is important to not get frustrated with yourself when you try to be mindful. You can just notice that your mind is wandering and try to bring it back to the present. Mindfulness can be REALLY DIFFICULT when you first try it. Starting by setting a small amount of time aside is best - just a few minutes at the beginning. Here are some easy, quick ways you can be mindful: 1. Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Keep doing this, slowly, and observe where you can feel the air coming in and going out. Maybe you notice it most in your nose, or your chest? 2. Next time you are eating, take the time to really notice all the flavours, textures, and temperatures of your food. See if you can focus on this for 5 mouthfuls. 3. Spend some time really noticing the trees. How many different types of green do you notice? What is the bark like? Are the leaves thin or wide? Do you notice some have different types of branches? When you’ve tried these, take a deep breath in and think about how it felt to be mindful for a few minutes. Was it good to have a break from your normal thoughts? Was it harder than you expected? Do you notice any changes in your body? Don’t be disappointed if you didn’t notice anything right away, mindfulness might be new for you so be patient with yourself! Here are some apps you might find useful: Smiling Mind Headspace