Mindfulness is a technique that can help to calm your emotions and allow you to feel more in control. Getting started is easy – you just need a some quick and easy exercises. All it takes is a few minutes to stop and really notice how you feel. Practice each day, or as often as you can, and you’ll feel calmer, more able to concentrate and more in control of your thoughts and feelings.
Quick guide to a mindful moment
Stop for a moment, right now, and notice what is around you. These four steps will help you to focus. Ask yourself:
- What's around me?
What can you see, smell, hear and feel? How much can you focus and really notice these things?
- How does my body feel?
Take a moment to notice what your body is sensing. Are you feeling stressed or calm, hot or cold?
- How does my mind feel?
Now focus on your mind. Is it foggy, busy, dull, frantic or calm?
- How do I feel?
Finally, what emotions are you feeling? Are you worried, upset, relaxed or anxious?
You just had a mindful moment! Doing this as often as you can during the day, even just for 10-20 seconds, can help you get to know your mind, your feelings and yourself a bit better.
How does mindfulness work?
Being mindful means choosing to pay attention to what is happening right now, in this moment.
You can pay attention to physical things (like what’s going on around you), sensations (anything felt by your body), your mind (the thoughts you’re having) and emotions (what sensations go along with different feelings).
All you have to do is notice. No need to change anything. Why? Because simply noticing and accepting what’s happening right now is a very healthy starting point. Research has shown that people can feel calmer and happier when they’re focusing on what’s happening now – even if what they’re noticing is familiar, complicated or difficult.
When you’re upset, worried or your mind’s running away with you, paying attention to ‘right now’ can pull your mind back and help you feel more in control. Give it a go, every day if you can. We promise you’ll feel the difference.
Want to learn more?
There are some fantastic free or affordable resources available to help you practice mindfulness. Check out:
Need a way of taking some time out and focusing on yourself? The MindMate website has some great relaxation recordings which you can access on your phone through headphones to help you calm down and relax – or in bed to help you get ready for sleep.
Try the different recordings – with male or female voices – and see which one suits you.