We often find that the fast-paced, multi-screen, have-it-now, beeping, buzzing world we live in is filling our brains up and bringing us down.
Thankfully, a centuries old mind-trick is helping hundreds of thousands of us reclaim our brains and bring sanity back to our days.
Mindfulness is the effort to quiet the mind and be aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions in a non-judgmental way. Practicing mindfulness means bringing your attention back to the present by focusing on, and accepting, what is happening right now.
Clinical director at Relationships Australia NSW Elisabeth Shaw says today’s fast pace of life can sometimes lessen our enjoyment of it.
“Our attention is drawn in so many different directions and there are competing imperatives all the time: completing work on the train, talking on the phone, being on your iPad – all at once. There’s a general consensus that this hectic pace is going to take its toll. We’ve lost the art of just being in the moment,” she says.
“Couples and families can equally be like ships in the night with the current pace of living. Many people tell me that they struggle to get past the device to have a conversation with their child or their partner! Taking time to invest in ourselves, and in our relationships, is crucial for our individual as well as our relational wellbeing.”
There are many ways to bring mindfulness into your daily life. Focusing on sensations in the body; concentrating on your breathing; observing sounds, smells and emotions as they arise; guided meditation; yoga; and doing one activity at a time are all forms of being mindful.
But these are not the only ways. Shaw reminds us that some personalities may not adapt well to these forms.
“Busy personality types may not take to yoga or seated meditation. They may need a faster paced practice, like going to the gym. We all need to find our own way of being in touch with our own internal experience,” she says. “There are a range of things that are under the heading mindfulness but essentially they are all designed for us to slow down, catch up with ourselves and enjoy life.”
If you’re overdue for a catch up with your inner self, check out these apps.
- Headspace: A gym membership for the mind.
- Insight Timer: Guided meditation on a global scale.
- Smiling Mind: Mindfulness meditation for young people.
- This Way Up: Free online courses with an introduction to mindfulness.
This information has been reviewed for Bupa by health professionals and to the best of their knowledge is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice. Bupa HI Pty Ltd (and its related entities) makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the recommendations or assessments and is not liable for any loss or damage you suffer arising out of the use of or reliance on the information, except that which cannot be excluded by law. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your health.
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