Mindfulness is everywhere at the moment, but what exactly is it? It is a creative way to stay connected to how you are feeling, boost your self-care, provide yourself with a bit of self-love and to focus on the present. As Idowu Koyenikan once said “The mind is just like a muscle- the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand”.
You can find mindfulness in the simplest of places, driving along a country road, reading a book where you just get lost in the story, watching the sunset, a mindfulness app, practicing yoga or meditation. Whatever works for you do it! It is great to just escape for a bit from the busy lives we all lead and to focus on us for a while, notice our feelings, the world surrounding us and the present moment.
5 Quick tips which can be done in a public place…no one will even notice!
- Take a few deep breaths
- Sit up straight
- Focus your mind on your breathing – if your mind wonders that’s okay, just bring it back to your breath
- Drink some water
- Tell yourself it is okay and it is okay to not be okay
Nowadays there are books which are great for getting your inner girl boss out, thinking and dreaming big, but also understanding and practicing mindfulness techniques. You have a lot of control in your life even if you don’t know it yet. The truth is life is too short to be miserable and who wants to be anyways!? Life is about living and dreaming. Being grateful for the little things, loving yourself and being the best version of yourself you can be. Emily Dickinson once said; ‘The brain is wider than the sky’ and I fully believe in that. Be who you are honestly, you will feel so much better and that in itself is the first step to mindfulness in my opinion. Love and be yourself!
Meditation is all about a concentrated focus to increase awareness, it is a basic human ability. Everybody can do it no matter how busy you are, your gender or your age. Studies have shown that mindfulness does result in more positive psychological effects. It has a positive result on a person’s wellbeing as well as reducing some symptoms of emotional and psychological feelings 1.
There are a number of great mindfulness apps available such as Headspace and Calm. These work really well. There are a variety of youtubers out there, such as Kalyn Nicholson, who do a lot of videos on how to get out of that slump, or top 10 motivational books. There are also a wide variety of podcasts on Spotify alone to get you in that Zen mood (e.g. Meditation Minis Podcasts by Chel Hamilton). But if you are looking to reduce your screen time and be less dependent of your phone or computer there are other ways, like reading motivational or self-love books, yoga or walking through the forest or countryside.
Here is just a short list of some of the recommended motivational books;
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – I personally am in the middle of reading this and love it! It is an easy read and can be picked up at any time. This is great for busy bees who are constantly on-the-go but also want to catch some zen moments. Being on final year placement with online modules I can vote this book perfect for busy bodies! It is also small enough to fit into your bag, so you can read it on your break or while you commute.
- You are a Badass by Jen Sincero – It helps you create the life that you love to live. This book is full of advice, captivating stories, simple exercises and humour in just 27 chapters. Individuals found it useful and an enlightening read due to the comical and inspiring type writing by Sincero.
- Powers by davidji – I have heard great things about this and it is definitely next on my 2018 book list! On the cover it says, “The 5 Secret to Awakening Transformation”. It starts off with an elderly grandfather sitting with his grandchild around the bonfire, and the aim is to teach the grandchild the essentials of life.
- Let the Elephants Run by David Usher
- The Untethered Soul by Michael A.
- You Do You by Sarah Knights
- The Subtle art of not giving a F*** by Mark Manson
I hope you find your zen that works for you and enjoy this quick quote by Buddha
“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life”
- Keng, SL., Smokski, MJ., Robins, CJ. (2011) Effects of Mindfulness on Psychoogical Health: A review of Empirical Studies. Clinical Psychology Review. Vol 31(6), 1041-1056.