It can’t be denied that the media’s mass hysteria over coronavirus is doing more harm than good. At times like these, it is essential to keep yourself mentally fit, especially as stress lowers immunity. This is why we actively encourage our staff to reduce their stress levels by practising mindfulness; the act of reconnecting with mind and body, whilst paying attention to the present moment without judgement. So, why not take a step back and make a pledge to take charge of your health today? Here are 5 ways to remain calm and grateful during these trying times and beyond.
How to practise mindfulness
Mindfulness can be practised anywhere; all you need is an open mind and a little time and space. Practising mindfulness will reduce stress, anxiety, negative emotions, sharpen your concentration skills, improve sleep and much more.
- Learn how to meditate
To begin with, try to set aside 5 to 10 minutes each day to “practise”. Once you get used to meditating, you can gradually increase the amount of time you take out of your day to do so.
- Sit cross legged, kneel, or position yourself on a chair; whichever is the most comfortable, that you can maintain for a while.
- Concentrate on your breath, following it as it goes out and as it goes in. Close your eyes if you like, although not necessary.
- When you realise that your mind has begun to wander, simply return your attention to your breathing once more.
- Be gentle with your wandering mind, it’s natural! Without judgement or expectation, bring yourself back, sit and pay attention to your breathing once more.
- Notice the environment around you, how your body feels and your thoughts and emotions, without judgement.
It may sound simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. But with practise, positive results will come.
Apps to practise mindfulness
Practising mindfulness is incredibly popular at the moment. So, here are a couple of free apps that you may find helpful on your path to mindfulness.
- Stop, Breathe & Think
Available on iOS and Android, this app features about 30 free meditation sessions. It also allows you to rate your mind and body on a scale of “rough” to “great”, note up to 5 emotions you’re feeling and then it will recommend meditations, mindful walks and even tailored acupressure videos.
Available on iOS, Android and web, this app offers hundreds of meditations, with most ranging from 5 to 15 minutes.
- Mindful eating
Mindful eating enables you to really appreciate your food, improves health and well-being and helps reach a state of full awareness surrounding cravings, feelings and your figure. By breathing, slowing down, and focusing on enjoying every mouthful, eating can become a far more satisfying experience, fulfilling subtle senses and needs as well as nutrition.
- Practise mindfulness whilst you wait
Turn the usual frustration of having to wait in line or traffic, by using the opportunity to practise mindfulness meditation techniques.
- Mindful colouring
Instead of trying to draw something, focus on the colours and the sensation of the pencil against the paper. Mindfulness colouring books are available, which really help people to unwind, relax and get a better night’s sleep.
Improve physical and mental wellbeing by practising mindfulness
Don’t let yourself get stressed, overthink and make things bigger than they truly are. Refocus on the here and now by practising mindfulness.