What is Mindfulness?
It's easy to stop noticing the world around us and lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling while we live 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. You don't have to be spiritual, or have any particular beliefs to try it. It's about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves, our lives and improve your mental wellbeing.
You can check your mood using the NHS Mood Self-Assessment Quiz.
How to be more mindful
Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.
You can learn more about why you should practice mindfulness and how to reap its benefits by watching this video.
Mindful Practices for Every Day
As you spend time practicing mindfulness, you’ll probably find yourself feeling kinder, calmer, and more patient. These shifts in your experience are likely to generate changes in other parts of your life as well.
Take a Mindful Minute
BREATHE - Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Think about how the air goes in and out of your lungs.
LISTEN - Listen to the sounds around you.
SEE - Look at one item around you and think about its shape, colour and texture.
TOUCH - Use your fingers to feel an item or area around you. Think about how it feels and what words you would use to describe it.
SMILE - Open your eyes and enjoy the world around you.
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