Six ways to start a more mindful life

Mindfulness expert Jane Bozier provides tips for those new to the practice

It has been proven that being mindful can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing, so why aren’t more people practising it?

Here are six steps to getting started with mindfulness:

1. Give mindfulness therapy a try

Being mindful is about paying attention to your experiences and learning to live in the moment. There are different exercises you can do to help control your mind and feelings. Some of the most popular types of mindfulness therapy include yoga and meditation. Try attending a beginner’s yoga class to see how it’s done if you’ve never done it before.

2. Love your food more with mindful eating
It’s easy to slip into the habit of mindless eating; try taking a step back to enjoy your food and eat more slowly. Think about the taste, texture and smell. You’ll find after a short while you’ll develop a healthier relationship with what you’re putting in your body and why.

3. Relax your mind with exercise

There’s not much that exercise isn’t good for, and that includes the mind. Whether you like to hit the gym for an intense workout or prefer more gentle exercise by simply taking a walk, exercise can lift your mood, help you sleep better and reduce anxiety and tiredness. Most gyms offer yoga classes too. Had a difficult day at work? Try exercising afterwards to help relax your mind.

4. Teach yourself to live in the present
Try taking some time out of your day to sit and enjoy your senses. This exercise can help to change the way you think and notice the things going on around you. Tap into what you can touch, hear, smell and taste. Doing this regularly is a great way to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings as they occur.

5. Take a digital detox
We live in a culture where we’re constantly surrounded by technology. It can be very distracting and can stop you from noticing all the things around you. When you’re not at work, be strict with yourself and switch off your work phone. If you need to, schedule in short sessions to check it to make sure everything’s okay. But set some rules for yourself – limit it to 10 minutes a day. This can help you to go back to basics and enjoy simple experiences without any work distractions.

6. Be mindful on the move
Once you’ve got your head around the way you need to think to take a more mindful approach to everyday life, try giving it a go when you’re out and about. You could go for a walk and pay close attention to what you can sense, practice breathing exercises at work or listen to a guided meditation podcast.

Once you’ve started to understand how to live in the present, you can then try to incorporate it into your daily routine. Whether that means spending 10 minutes a day meditating, paying close attention to what you’re eating in every meal, spending time tuning into your senses, or all of the above, you will start to notice a change in how you think and feel. And you’ll eventually start to see the impact on your emotional and physical health.

Read more mindfulness advice from Jane Bozier in this blog post.