We live in a world of multitasking. It’s not uncommon to be sat in front of the television watching a film whilst WhatsApping a friend on your phone and dipping in and out of a novel on a Kindle. There’s rarely a moment that a smartphone isn’t clutched in our hands, even walks in the park are taken over with headphones blasting out music.
But in a world heavily saturated with devices, a lot of us have lost the connection with the present moment, which is having a detrimental impact on our mental wellbeing. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing on the moment and this, has been proven to be one of the key elements of happiness.
So in short, practicing mindfulness improves happiness, but how do we integrate mindfulness in our busy, everyday lives?
You may be a breakfast-on-the-go kind of person, for the sake of gaining a couple of extra minutes snoozing, however there can be much more to your morning meal. Having a proper breakfast can aid the practice of mindfulness, along with many other benefits.
Instead of shoving an apple in your mouth, take the time to sit down and enjoy a bowl of porridge (other breakfast options available, we’re just really enjoying oats at the moment).
Whether you’ve got an hour train journey or a ten minute walk, take out your headphones, put your phone in your pocket and take a look around. Take in the view, breathe in the smells and listen to your surroundings. You’d be surprised how many times you can make the same journey and not notice what’s around you.
If you’re anything like the SourcedBox team, you hit an afternoon slump that calls for a hot beverage and snacks to refuel. Instead of spending that time checking your social media, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing.
Try this mindfulness breathing exercise.
Find a comfortable posture in a seated position.
Close your eyes, or, if you’re worried about looking like you’re sleeping on the job, soften your gaze.
Bring your attention to your breathing from three vantage points. First, notice the feeling of your breath going in and out of your nostrils or mouth. Second, as you breathe, pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest. Third, notice the rise and fall of your stomach as you breath.
If you find your mind wanders, gently bring back the focus to your breathing
Try and do this for up to three minutes.
Night Time Wind Down
The evenings can often be the time when anxiety starts to build. After a full day we tend to fill our evenings with a multitude of screens and devices and flop into bed exhausted only to wake up and do it all over again.
Try taking half an hour before bed to sit and relax, away from the noise of the rest of your home. Remove the distractions and check in with yourself. Dim the lights, put away the screens and prepare your mind to go to sleep.
Do you already do any of these exercises? How do you ensure you are present in the moment and not overwhelmed by your devices? Let us know, we want to hear about it, tweet us @sourcedbox.