You’ll have no doubt heard a lot about ‘mindfulness’ recently – a topic that is deservedly commanding a lot of attention in the world of wellbeing.

MINDFUL MOMENTSMindfulness, is quite simply, the art and practice of being more aware of and connected to the present moment. This matters because being too in the past can lead to depressive feelings and too much attention placed on the future can bring about feelings of anxiety. The theory is that by being more ‘in the moment’ we can experience more joy and contentment and ultimately, lead a happier, more productive and peaceful life.

Sadly, the concept of mindfulness can in some ways feel over-complicated and inaccessible. It’s not always possible to take large chunks of time to meditate in the midst of a busy day, or to develop a regular yoga practice. It is however, possible to integrate small mindful rituals in to our day-to-day routines and to approach regular day-to day tasks with a greater sense of presence

Here are my top 10 tips to making mindfulness part of your normal way of being:

  1. Walk barefoot on the grass… There is nothing more real and connecting than touching the land with your body.
  2. Tend to your plants… Water them, dust their leaves, move them towards the sun, have a little chat…
  3. Watch the birds… Observe them coming and going from your garden, or from the window.
  4. ‘Touch the weather’… If it rains put your umbrella down a little early; if you’re lucky enough to get hailstones, let them stroke your skin or put your hands in the snow. ‘Horrid’ weather is the best for this – particularly useful up North!
  5. Get a wind-chime… Hang it outside and when you hear it jingle, take a deep breath or moment of stillness.
  6. Light a flame… Next time you light a candle, or the fire, watch the flame flicker.
  7. Write… Take the time to write a hand-written note to someone, or simply appreciate the beauty of writing next time you send a birthday card, make a shopping list or sign a contract!
  8. Bake a cake… This alchemic form of cooking requires us to be deeply present – the measuring, the mixing and the timing all require a focus on nothing but the here and now.
  9. Take tea… Making tea, in it’s purest form is a deeply meditative ritual; in Japan it remains a hugely significant cultural tradition. We’ve somewhat forgotten the ‘Way of Tea’ here in the West, but we can still use it’s ceremony as a way of connecting to ourselves. Next time you make a cup, watch the kettle boil, let it brew in it’s own time and drink it slowly (preferably whilst sitting still!)
  10. Meditate… Simple guided mediation is a great way to start this deeper practice. Download an application like Headspace or Calm and follow a short meditation when you have a spare 5 minutes in your day.

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