Being Mindful in 2016

When a new year rolls around it’s natural to think about fresh starts as well as your dreams, desires and resolutions for the following year to come. Often these resolutions revolve around achieving goals in regards to jobs, business or money and in turn we lack resolutions in regards to our own wellbeing and mental happiness. While I am not disputing that goals for further success in your job or business or goals to help provide you with financial security aren’t important, however isn’t your health, wellbeing and happiness just as important? After all how can you enjoy and appreciate your success if you aren’t mentally coping? So make those goals and resolutions but also include one that involves your mental wellbeing and happiness – you’ll have a better 2016 if you do!

But what is “mindfulness”? Being mindful is putting energy & concentration into being aware of your body and surrounds. It’s taking joy in simple endeavours such as your breath. It’s bringing your mind’s awareness to what is happening in that exact moment. Often our body is doing something or taking part in an activity yet our mind is elsewhere – instead of being focused on what your body is doing your mind is concentrating on what you need to do later in the day, what you should have done that morning but didn’t, what the person at the next table or desk is doing (the list goes on & on!) Your mind can focus on any one (or many) of these thoughts or things but hardly ever does it focus on being “in the moment”.

Learning mindfulness at the lululemon Inhale Exhale event. Photo by Tracey Incau

Learning mindfulness at the lululemon Inhale Exhale event.  Photo by Tracey Incau.

So how can be become more mindful everyday? The simplest is to take measures to be more mindful in daily routine activities. Take simple pleasures during eating – rather than eat because it’s routine, enjoy what you are eating, the tastes and textures. Acknowledge the nourishment it provides your body. Recognise your body as it performs your daily exercise – how amazing it is that your body allows you to be fit and healthy. Or take a quiet moment and focus on your breathing – as I learnt at a lululemon event focus on the positive energy you bring into your body with each breath in, as well as releasing negative energy and toxins with each breath out. (Believe it or not, you only need to do this simple activity for a few quiet minutes each day to increase your energy and relaxation levels).

Not only should we be more mindful about our own bodies but we should practice mindfulness when spending time with the people we love. With a society highly consumed with “the now” and social media (yep, myself included!) we can become distracted and less involved with being focused on the moments with friends and family. This often means not recognising how much our favourite people love & support us, or truly enjoying how good it is to catch up with a friend for a coffee. Th best way to become more involved in the moment when spending time with your loved one? Put the phone away, unless it’s an emergency, is answering that phone or text message more important than that friend sitting across from you? Is Instagram more important than your love for your sister or mum? It may sound a little harsh but these simple technological distractions do exactly that, distract us from truly enjoying and being happy with the company we have. It really won’t hurt to put that phone away for 30 minutes!

It may sound like a lot, but being more mindful is quite simple – for a few minutes a day just actively take part in a moment and recognise the amazing things our bodies allow us to achieve each day.

Here is to a wonderful & happier New Year!

JB xx

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