01/08/2016 | ,,

The 2 minute guide to Mindfulness

By Dr Louisa Hoey

Everyone is talking about mindfulness these days so I thought it would be useful to write something about what it is and how you can get started in a really simple way to be more mindful in your life. Mindfulness helps us to focus on what is really important in our lives (our values) like our family, health, having fun or whatever it might be for you.  So here is the 2 minute guide to mindfulness that I hope will help make a difference in your day.

Why do we need mindfulness?

For many of us, we are lose focus on what is important in life because we have some kind of discomfort in our lives (it could be pain, disordered eating, depression or anxiety for instance) and we spend stacks of our time and energy trying to work out how to get rid of that discomfort. While mindfulness doesn’t claim to directly get rid of the discomfort, it can help you to experience the good stuff in your life even though you have that discomfort – and sometimes, as a bi-product that discomfort will reduce.

So, how do you do it?

There are simple five elements of mindfulness that you can practice to start bringing more mindfulness into your day:

  1. Observation – practice noticing ALL five of your senses – you could practice it while having a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, listening to music or eating a peach for instance. Everything you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
  2. Describe the fine details – notice everything about the senses
  3. Participate fully – even the uncomfortable stuff – even the fuzzy peach skin!
  4. Non-judgemental – don’t get sucked into the judgemental thoughts “I hate the fuzzy bit” –notice the thought but continue to experience it fully
  5. Slow down – do one thing at a time

Why don’t you try practicing it for 2 minutes every day for the next week and see what happens?

About the Author

Dr Louisa Hoey is a health psychologist.  She is the Director of the Health Psychology Centre. Louisa specialises in the psychological aspects of food, the emotional relationships around food and the development of strategies to a happier more fuller life.

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