Mindfulness seems to be everywhere at the moment, but what is mindfulness?
Really, it’s taking a short while to just be in the present in the current moment. For some people this can look like meditation, but meditation doesn’t need to be intimidating or scary.
I enjoy using the Headspace app to take just 10 minutes out of my day (I do it when I’m in bed, before I go to sleep) and practice being aware of my breathing and the way my body feels, noticing the breath coming in and the breath going out, and noticing when my mind wanders away from that point of focus before drawing it back. And that’s it. That’s how simple mindfulness can be.
So if mindfulness is so simple, it can’t be doing anything, right? Well the science disagrees. Recent studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can reduce emotional response and help create a ‘pause’ between feeling an emotion and choosing how to react. This helps you feel calmer and makes your amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for your fight/flight/freeze response and other emotional reactions) less reactive. This makes you happier, less stressed, and more able to deal with upset, disappointment and anger, as well as other heightening emotions like surprise and excitement. You can make better judgements and decisions, and improves your relationships.
All from 10 minutes a day. It’s got to be worth giving it a go, right?
I hope you can take time for yourself this week. Remember, you’re worth it.
*I am not affiliated with Headspace in any way. I do not benefit from any downloads of the app, I am just a happy user!