5 ways to practise mindfulness

7 October 2015 by
First published: 13 July 2014

Feeling frazzled? Try these five ways to practise mindfulness for an instant boost.

It’s a symptom of modern life that we’re always trying to cram as much as possible into our days, but all this rushing about can leave us feeling flat. Constantly worrying about past events and panicking about future deadlines means we rarely appreciate what is happening around us. Lifestyle expert, Louise Presley-Turner, says, ‘Our thoughts can trap us if we’re not careful. If you find yourself thinking too much about the past you can wind up feeling regretful, sad and guilty. If you find yourself thinking too much about the future you can wind up feeling anxious, fearful and restless. Not a great mixed bag of emotions to be dealing with day in, day out.’

This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is all about focussing on the present moment, dispelling anxiety and negative emotions and appreciating life as we live it. So how can we inject a bit of zen-time into our daily routines?


For a great solution to stress when you’re on the run, try breathing exercises. These are one of the simplest ways to be more mindful because by focussing on the breath, you take your attention away from whatever is bothering you and re-center yourself. Try this next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, or need to clear your head on a crowded tube.


Start single-tasking
Women love to boast about their multi-tasking abilities, (and rightly so, we’re awesome!) but there is also something to be said for just taking things one at a time. Louise advises focussing 100% on the task in hand, rather than juggling tasks and rushing to get the next thing done. She says, ‘This simple act of single tasking will not only help you get more done, but you’ll be totally in the moment and enjoy each task far more.’


 Yoga, meditation and tai-chi are great tools for mindfulness, as they focus on an awareness of body and mental discipline. Why not try a class this week, maybe a lunch time yoga session or an evening meditation? Or you could even try following online classes from the comfort of your own home, experiment to see which approach works best for you.


Plug-in to tune out
Your smartphone may seem like the last place to look for mindfulness tools, but lo’ and behold, there’s an app for it! Founded by former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe, Headspace demystifies meditation, showing us how to weave mindfulness techniques into everyday life. Check them out online or download the app for a free 10-day program to give you a taste of what meditation and mindfulness can do for you.


Get back to nature
Get outside. Take the dog for a walk or even just go for a solo stroll. Breathing in the fresh air and taking time to notice the things around you are integral to being more mindful in everyday life. The more you practise this, the more likely you are to approach stressful situations in a clearer, more mindful way.


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