Everybody can feel under pressure to be their best – whether it’s from parents, school, social media or even yourself. But sometimes to be your best, it can help to do nothing.
Mindfulness is a way to hit pause.
It slows things down and creates space. It can help you accept yourself, just as you are. It can help you focus, be calmer and have a healthier perspective on life. Try it out.
Mindfulness can help you achieve many things and improve your mental health. Discover more using the arrows below.
Sometimes our thoughts and feelings can get in our way, stopping us in our tracks.
By practicing mindfulness, we can train our minds to respond to our feelings rather than react to them.
We then become capable of recognising negative thoughts and emotions, helping us accept and overcome them, so we can keep moving forward.
Many different thoughts and emotions can race around our minds everyday, making it difficult for us to focus.
Through mindfulness we can train our attention, making it easier to focus on one thing at a time.
Having more control over our focus aids concentration and helps us experience the present more fully. This way, we can really start to live in the moment.
Sometimes, we can find ourselves inundated with negative thoughts that make us too sad or too fearful to move forward.
By practicing mindfulness, we become able to observe and acknowledge these thoughts, without allowing them to take over.
Eventually, our minds gain a better perspective. We can start to see all our thoughts in a wider context, meaning negative ones aren’t as overwhelming.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness means being aware of the current moment. It teaches you to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings, moods and bodily sensations, so that you can better manage your mind. We learn to look after our bodies with exercise, rest and diet. Mindfulness is about learning to look after our minds. The best way to understand it is to try it.
IS IT HARD TO DO?
It’s easy to get started. Mindfulness isn’t about “doing anything right” or trying to get somewhere. It’s about developing a new kind of awareness that, with regular practice, you can learn to tune into more often in your day-to-day life.
WHY SHOULD I BE MINDFUL?
Research has shown that mindfulness can improve mental health. It can increase focus and help people enjoy the good things more. With practice, it can teach you how to spot difficult emotions and thoughts – like depression, stress, anxiety, or pain – and deal with them more easily.
IS IT A RELIGION OR CULT?
No. Mindfulness is simply a way of understanding and looking after your mind in the same way that diet, sleep and exercise are ways to look after your body. It teaches you how to focus, calm down and allow your thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations to come and go without getting carried away by them, or trying to change them.
DO I HAVE TO CLOSE MY EYES?
How you practice mindfulness is up to you. If you find it hard to keep your eyes closed, you don’t need to close them. If you think you might fall asleep, you can open a window. If you can’t sit still, you can practice mindfulness while taking a walk. It’s all about putting your mind at a comfortable, resting state so you can more easily let your thoughts come and go. You can also take a break any time you want.
WHAT IF I START TO FEEL SAD OR ANXIOUS?
If you become aware of something difficult, try to relate to it in a caring way, as you would support a friend or family member. If this becomes too distressing, you should put mindfulness aside for now. If you feel you can’t cope with your mood, or with issues in your life, then seek help. Mindfulness is not a cure-all.
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