Mindful in May
This month I have been focusing on mindfulness by ‘being mindful in May’!
What is “mindfulness” you ask? According to the Macquarie Dictionary, mindfulness is “attentiveness; carefulness”, which is “a state of mind in which a person regulates their awareness of their surroundings so that it is limited to their immediate experience on which they remain wholly focused.”
I like to think of mindfulness as a simplified type of meditation you can call on whenever you like, no matter what you’re doing.
The benefits of mindfulness and mediation are similar and include REDUCTION in all of the following: stress, anxiety, pain, high blood pressure (hypertension), insomnia and depression – sign me up!
Over the next few days I will be sharing some of my favourite Mindful Moments, including mindful exercises and quotes.
Let’s start with this one:
Five Senses Exercise:
This mindfulness exercise engages all five senses, and is particularly engaging when done outside.
1. Step outside, or move to a window so you can focus your attention outside.
2. Notice 5 things you can see. Don’t just quickly name them, but REALLY NOTICE them. For example, if you see a tree, notice the way the breeze moves its leaves. Notice the parts of a flower, and the insects the flower attracts. Look for the tiny details.
3. Now notice 4 things you can hear.
4. Next, notice 3 things you can feel. This could be sensations in your body, the clothes on your skin, or something you are touching.
5. And now notice 2 things you can smell – good or bad!
6. Finally, notice 1 thing you can taste. This one can be tricky, so take a sip of your water or coffee, or eat something and really focus on its taste.
This is a wonderful exercise to introduce yourself to mindfulness, and only takes a couple of minutes. You could practice this exercise on a coffee break, or while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
Keep an eye out for my next Mindful Moment, coming your way soon…