Stressed out, with no time? All the more reason to proactively find some quiet time every day.
This is so important on the road to feeling calmer, more centred, and in control.
Mindfulness is a wonderful practice to take off the yoga mat: bringing a kind, non-judgemental awareness to present moment experience (whatever that happens to be at one point in time).
'Having some quiet time each day is the most important tip I can give you. I can't emphasise enough the importance of connecting with some form of mindfulness practice on a daily basis, preferably for ten minutes or more.
'By deliberately practising mindfulness every day, you strengthen your mind's ability to be more aware and awake... This can involve sitting still and feeling the sensations of your breathing, or doing some yoga, or simply sitting out in your garden and looking at the trees and birds.'
How to make daily practice happen:
- Ideally, practise at the same time and place each day. This way, the mindfulness discpline becomes a routine, like brushing your teeth.
- Don't push yourself too much. If ten minutes seems too long, just do whatever you can manage (even if it's three minutes. It will make a difference).
- Put reminders on your mirror, refriegerator, computer or phone.
Some other mindfulness in daily life tips:
- Connect with people: look the person in the eye in a natural way. Listen to what she or he has to say, rather than thinking about what you're about to say. Be present, and see things from the other person's point of view.
- Enjoy nature: gardening is a wonderful way of connecting with nature, and experiencing 'flow'. Or take a walk in a park. Enjoy scents of the flowers; really notice the beauty of trees. Try reconnencting with a child-like innocence.
- Take a mindful walk. Walking meditation is simply about noticing your walking. Feel the feet on the ground as you walk. Try slowing down a little, and notice your breathing. Get a sense of both stepping back from your experience and deepening your connection with your experience at the same time.
For mindfulness meditation day (and longer) retreats, see www.satvada-retreats.co.uk.
The best-selling Mindfulness for Dummies, by Shamash Alidina, is available from Amazon, and good book stores (we recommend the latter, to support our high streets!).