Mindfulness in its most basic form is to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you are doing. It is paying attention to the present moment and not reacting or getting overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
Mindfulness is something we can all do naturally, and like most things, the more we practice, the better we get at it. It can help us to relax and be more productive.
Mindfulness may help you to:
- Be calm
- Reduce your stress and anxiety
- Improve your concentration
- Control your emotions (e.g. anger, fear and impatience)
- Strengthen your resilience
- Block distractions
- Be more focused
- Sleep better
- Improve your wellbeing.
How to practice mindfulness
Anyone can practice mindfulness.
Try following the tips below to get started:
- Set aside 5 minutes
- Observe the present moment
- Pay attention to your senses – what can you see, smell, taste, touch or hear?
- Accept things for what they are – let your judgments roll by
- If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the present moment.
If you are finding it hard to start because your mind is racing, try calmly breathing in and out to slow down your thoughts.
Mindfulness gets easier the more you do it, so keep practising. You can even try to work it into one of your daily routines, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair, or do it just before you go to sleep. If mindfulness isn’t working for you, then stop. It isn’t always for everyone.
If you are struggling and want to speak to a professional counsellor, SuicideLine Victoria is available 24/7. Call us on 1300 651 251.
If it is an emergency, call 000.