Research shows that by incorporating mindfulness into our daily routines, we're able to find more value in our lives.
Mindfulness is a practice that's recently entered mainstream consciousness and is noted for its ability to help us develop more presence and awareness for every moment. If you're looking to strengthen your practice or incorporate more mindful moments in your daily life, try these four exercises:
- Observe: When you’re feeling an unpleasant emotion, the first step is to take a few slow, deep breaths and quickly scan your body from head to toe. Look for the strongest sensation – the one that bothers you the most. Focus your attention on that sensation. Observe it curiously, carefully. Notice where it starts and where it ends. Learn as much about it as you can.
- Breathe: Take a few deep breaths. Breathe into and around it.
- Expand: Make room for the feeling. Loosen up around it and create space.
- Allow: Allow the emotion to be there. You don’t have to like it or want it. Simply let it be and make peace with it. The goal is not to get rid of it but to give up the struggle with it.
You can practise a mindfulness exercise with as many different sensations as you want to. As you do this exercise one of two things will happen: either your feelings will change - or they won’t. It doesn’t matter either way. This exercise is not about changing your feelings. It’s about accepting them.
Words: psychologist Alison Christie