Mindfulness: Make time for the present and it will change your life 7 years ago

Mindfulness: Make time for the present and it will change your life

Mindfulness: The intentional focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.

It's a lovely concept, right? But like everything else we try to do to benefit our brains and bodies, it takes time and effort. I mean, who has a minute to be mindful?

In short, you do. Mindfulness is actually the one thing you can squish into any moderately idle part of your day. You can try it on your commute, do it in the shower, practice it as you scoff your lunch; you can even give it a go while you sit in that Monday morning meeting with Accounts.

The list of reasons why you should give it a bash is lengthy. Essentially a Buddhist practice, mindfulness can help alleviate mental stress and anxiety by bringing your emotions into focus so you can experience and deal with them.

It can also work wonders with children. In fact, in a recent study, nine-year-old kids who learned mindfulness techniques did 15% better in maths tests than their peers.

Here are some easy ways to make mindfulness part of your day:

First; try an introduction to meditation by mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe



Then learn how to meditate in a moment...


Still finding it tricky to quiet your mind? Take this guided meditation with Zen Buddhist Sister Dang Nhiem.


Download some handy mindfulness apps...



With the right app on your phone, you can plug in for a little meditation on the bus home or on the walk to work. Apps like Smiling Mind (an Aussie app developed with young people in mind) and Room to Breathe (an easy guide to mindful breathing) are the easiest route to inner peace if you're on the move.

Planning on making more time for the present? Your kids could benefit too...

Developed my Goldie Hawn's foundation, the groundbreaking MindUp programme teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness training. The Hawn Foundation believe that simple techniques can help children to let go of stress and improve their academic performance.

Watch her discuss the thinking behind the MindUp curriculum, which is taught in many US schools, in this TedMed clip:


Lastly: Place a mindfulness reminder somewhere prominent

We love this gorgeous printable (€4.54, Etsy)