You may think of mindfulness and immediately have thoughts of a yoga retreat – but that is more of an old school view. Mindfulness is something anyone can practice, at any time and in any place.
Mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years across the world, but its popularity has increased in recent years. Thanks to the arrival of the wellness movement, mindfulness has started to show up – and people are taking notice.
So, what's all the fuss and how can you benefit? Essentially mindfulness is about connecting with yourself and your environment, so that you know and understand what you are feeling and how the world around you makes you feel. Incorporating this into your lifestyle can do wonders for your mental health, happiness and overall wellbeing.
Research has shown that mindfulness can help reduce stress, improve our relationship with ourselves and others, help us get more enjoyment out of the world and much more. Practicing mindfulness can help you to better understand what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Paying closer attention to your inner thoughts can help you take note and consider how those thoughts are affecting your mental and physical state.
For example, let's say one day you feel your fuse is particularly short. Ignoring the reasons why could lead you to continue to feel het up – but taking a second to recognise your mood and consider why, can help you better manage these feelings. Maybe you're subconsciously worried about an upcoming work presentation? Take a second to recognise this source of anxiety and think about why you are worried and how you can take action to relieve some of these concerns. Perhaps write down your worries and a possible plan of action. Taking this time to address this feeling can help you manage your feelings better.
Think about how you can make some time for mindfulness and see if it can improve your sense of wellbeing too!
Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.