Everyone is probably familiar with the phrase ‘to live in the moment’ – when we’re able to bring our awareness fully into the present time and be appreciative of our thoughts and feelings. Not distracted by memories from the near or distant past, any prejudicial thoughts or anticipation of what might happen in the future – simply just enjoying the state of ‘being’.
Unfortunately many of us feel compelled to live our lives in the mental and physical fast lane – barely taking a moment in our day to calm ourselves, relax and be thankful for what we have.
At Intui, we believe in the power of mindfulness to help combat the inevitable stresses of life. We’ve learned how to build this practice into our everyday routine, and we’re passionate about helping you do the same.
There are now many classes available on mindfulness. Or you can sign up to an online course or a podcast, read book about it or download an app.
You can also just start right now. Make a small commitment from today onwards to pause your actions and focus your thoughts on a regular basis.
So much of what we do throughout our day could be classed as ‘mindless’. That doesn’t mean that we don’t care – it’s just that we have so much to do on a daily basis in our work and family life that we put most of our tasks on autopilot. Just like when you take that car journey from A to B and barely remember the journey in between!
Make life a journey that you remember and appreciate in all its beautiful and sometimes messy detail!
Here are our tips to get started with mindful practices.
1. Take a few short breaks
Make a conscious commitment to take four to five breaks in a day. Each break need only be for about 5 minutes. Take a moment to focus on your breath – breathe in and breathe out, wholly and completely. So many of us are shallow breathers – but as they say in yoga, ‘life is in the breath’.
2. Make a note
Start a journal and make it a daily practice to write down your thoughts and feelings. Focus on all the things that you are grateful for in life, and for all the little things you achieve each day. You’ll be surprised at how quickly this daily habit can help to eliminate all the negative inner chatter that we have going on inside of us.
3. Go for a walk
Take a mindful walk as often as you can. Whether you live in the countryside or in the middle of a bustling city, go for a short stroll and make a point to be mindful of all your surroundings. Take in the sights and sounds without passing any judgement about them. You’ll no doubt notice things that you’ve never noticed before. Observe them, accept them and continue peacefully on your way.
4. Eat with intention
Learn how to eat in a more mindful way. It’s very easy to eat food without any real though or appreciation for it. Not only can this lead to indigestion, but it also means this food is less likely to nourish our body and soul.
When eating at home, make a point of laying a place at the table and turning off any distractions like the TV. Put on some calm, relaxing music or light a candle if you wish. Appreciate the look, texture and aroma of the food in front of you. Take time to fully chew each mouthful and savour the flavour. Be thankful for this food and how it will sustain you and give you the energy you need to live your life.
5. Consciously relax
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of yoga at Intui! Yoga can be a physically demanding pursuit that will develop a strong body, but it should also be practised in a deeply mindful way. One of our favourite poses is Savasana (corpse pose). While in this pose, we breathe deeply and take our thoughts to each area of our body in turn – starting with our toes and making our way upwards. We scan each part of the body for any stored up tension and consciously relax that area.
It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to mindfully check your body in this way – and once complete, you’ll be ready for a blissful night’s sleep