Mindfulness is the current buzzword & modern mindfulness has evolved through many forms of meditation-
Essentially, you are looking to train your mind to be more present with the body and with its surroundings.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness, and it is a skill that should be practiced like any other, so that it becomes more automatic and you are more connected to not only yourself but also to others.
The two main ways to perform mindfulness are:
Setting aside time for dedicated mindfulness practice
Practically being more present in any life situation.
A body scan is a simple way to check in with yourself.
You can do it anywhere, anytime.
It is not all fluff and rainbows, there is research involved.
Research has shown that practicing mindfulness for 40 minutes per day has significant benefits on both physical and mental health, happiness and even how long you will live for!
We don’t all have 40 minutes in a day (and it can seem daunting). So start small and slowly increase your time.
Try this simple body scan to get connected
(have someone read it to you or record yourself reading it to play it back and guide you through, or click here for our version)
Sit comfortably in a chair, or in a comfortable position on the floor.
Try to have your feet in contact with the ground, and your hands relaxed on your lap
Relax the breath
Close down your eyes
Bring your attention to your feet. How do they feel resting on the floor?
Notice the position of your toes, the big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, and the little toe. Notice this on the left foot, then the right, and then notice all the toes together.
Take your attention to the top of the foot. If you are wearing shoes, what does the pressure of the tops of the shoes feel like?
Continue your attention along the arch of the inside of the foot. Does it feel high, or low?
Bring the attention to the sole of the foot and the heel. Feel the pressure your foot in creating on the sole of your shoe and the floor.
Continue to travel your attention up the back of the lower leg – the calf. Notice the muscle bulk here. Continue to the front of the lower leg – the shin. Feel the contact of any clothes you have on this part of the leg.
Travel up to the knees. Notice how bent they are.
Continue to take your attention to the backs of the knees and to the backs of the upper legs – the hamstrings. Feel the pressure of the chair or the floor on this part of the leg.
Notice the tops of your legs – the quadriceps. Feel how your clothes rest onto this part of your legs.
Take your attention to the buttocks. Notice themuscles over the sit bones. Now take your attention to the sit bones – how do they feel on the chair or the floor?
Continue up the back, the lower back, mid back and right up to the base of the neck. Trace each section of this with your mind noticing the curves in your spine, and how it feels resting on the back of the chair.
Take your attention to the rib cage. Trace your attention around each rib from where it starts at the spine, around to the front, and then continue to trace the rib on the opposite side of the body from where it meets the breast bone, to the back.
Once you have travelled around each rib, continue up to the neck. Feel how the neck supports the head in space.
Take your attention along the jawbone. Feel the tongue resting inside the mouth.
Notice the skin on the face, then where the hairline starts.
Now take your attention to your breath. Feel how on the in breath, the air travels through the upper airway (nose/mouth), down the wind pipe in your neck, then fills the lungs, and then out in the reverse.
Notice how with each breath your ribs expand and relax. Notice how your belly responds with each breath, rising and falling accordingly.
Slowly bring your attention back into the room, and when you are ready you can open your eyes, feeling more energised and more present.