Is your boss really getting on your nerves?
Do you feel pressured by money?
Are the children driving you nuts?
Did someone just cut you up in traffic?
If your mind feels scattered, overloaded and about to burst, STOP. Take a moment. One minute of mindfulness could save your sanity, and begin to change your life from here on in…
Just 1-Minute of Mindfulness Each Day
A mindfulness exercise can start with simply sitting down, relaxing and breathing deeply. This simple action helps centre the mind and bring our thoughts into the present moment.
Close your eyes and focus on your breath rising up and down. After a few minutes, move your attention to your body, one part at a time, noting any sensations like warmth or stiffness.
Just notice each aspect of the body.
After a few minutes, begin listening to sounds in the room. Don't try to work out what these sound are, just notice and listen.
When it feels right, open your eyes and look around as if you are seeing for the first time. Rest your eyes on the first object you see for half a minute, examining it without preconception. By this we mean seeing it for what it really is rather than what you know it to be.
Now move to another object, and so forth, while still maintaining an awareness of your body, your breathing and any sounds that come your way. Stay in this state for as long as you feel undistracted or agitated.
Becoming fully aware of your body, breath and immediate environment in this way brings you into the present moment, helping you see the true nature of things more clearly.
The more you practice such simple mindfulness exercises, the calmer your disposition will become in everyday life. You will experience less distraction, less stress, less frustration and less anxiety.
Do You Have Trouble Sitting Still?
If just sitting still seems a bit hard at first, why not use an object to help focus your concentration and clear your mind.
Start off in the same way set out above.
Find a quiet place, sit down and start breathing deeply through your nose. However, instead of closing your eyes, focus on a common object that you'd never think twice about looking at for more than a second, such as a flower, computer mouse, cup or piece of paper.
Hold that item in your gaze. Really notice the object.
If it's a piece of paper, does it have folds, is it dirty, what type of texture does it have?
While concentrating on the intricacies of the object, thoughts of the past and expectations of the future dissolve as you become increasingly present.
Being present is a natural state of mind, yet in the modern day the mind is pulled from pillar to post by so many distractions, many of which impact negatively on our ability to live a happy, contented life.
By training the mind in this way, we are able to cultivate clarity, peace of mind and clear seeing. This has a positive knock-on effect on how we deal with potentially stressful situations in everyday life.
If you are interested in how mindfulness and meditation can positively impact your life, then check out my Pocket Mindfulness Series, a concise, fast track way to understanding mindfulness and the inner workings of the mind.