I’ve just returned to work after a few lovely weeks off relaxing, skiing, enjoying great food and red wine.. but unfortunately, I caught the standard post-holiday Monday-itis, just innocently walking to work.
Holiday fun. Can’t not be ‘in the moment’, learning to ski!
“I won’t have another peaceful holiday break for ages!” In that moment, I switched the playlist on my phone to my chill-out list and remembered that EVERY single day can be peaceful and ‘easy’ if we make it that way.
Being in the present moment, enjoying the walk to work, the music, the scenery is practising ‘mindfulness’. It might sound ‘woo woo’ but science recognises the benefits.
Bondi psychologist, yoga, mindfulness teacher and great mentor of mine, Melissa Podmore (checkout her website below) explains:
“Mindfulness is a life skill that can assist anyone of any age to connect with essence of Life. Children are essentially very mindful from birth. We see this as we watch a two year old explore a set of car keys for example, the are completely present and engaged with what they are doing in the present moment- this is Mindfulness.”
Researchers have found practicing mindfulness can effect the brain waves. It can..
- Soothe anxiety
- Decrease everyday stress
- Improve focus and concentration
- Improve awareness of self-defeating thought processes
- Help people to be less reactive and to unpleasant experiences.
- Develops self-awareness and self-compassion.
- Helps many become more aware of the world, people and experiences around them, shifting focus from the past and future.
The mindfulness mission is spreading, (yay), with a new educational movement led by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, training teachers in the skills of mindfulness and mindful living to share in classrooms in Australia and around the world.
It can be useful to so many different types of kids because the teachings are’t specific to one religion, with mindfulness approaches in the bible, in buddhist and other teachings.
“Unfortunately as schooling starts children are conditioned to become more regimented and simultaneously they often can become overstimulated by technology, and so their skill of mindfulness deteriorates.”
Here’s some tips from the experts which you can use today to become more present..
- Do everyday activities mindfully, such as brushing your teeth, walking, working out or having a shower. Actually feel the water, rather than thinking about your to-do list.. or you may as well be at work already.
- Put your phone down. Trying not to fill every empty moment by checking emails and instagram. Now this one is hard!
- Practising bringing thoughts back to your breath in stressful situations.
- A regular yoga and meditation practice can build mindfulness
- Experts suggest, when thoughts come, notice them and take your mind back to the present moment. Just like in yoga.
Being in the ‘present moment’ is essential in yoga.
Hmmm, stopping for a tea break, and enjoying it slowly…
I hope you’re able to enjoy being present this week.
Incase you’re wondering.. I recovered from my Monday-itis. Phew. In fact I’d say, mindfulness is a miracle cure.
It’s lovely to be back to an office, which feels a little rowdier since I left. Back in a creative vibrant newsroom, which despite what you might expect, can also be a very peaceful place.
*Here’s how to reach Melissa Podmore: www.vibrantpsychologyandyoga.com.au