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Mindfulness is a key skill for happiness and we can do it
wherever we are. So here are some ideas to get started - it'll help
you get more from your day!
In our busy lives we constantly have our head full or thoughts about the future or about the past - what are we going to do next or what are we going to become or how well or badly we just did. This means we're often not that aware of what is around us, and what happening in the here and now. So there's likely to be a lot good stuff that we miss (or not so good stuff that we really need to be aware of). It also means that we often do things more out of unconscious habit rather than fully conscious choice.
Being mindful means being more fully aware of what is around us - what we can see, hear, touch and taste. And what is happening inside - our thoughts and feelings. It's about learning to observe all this but not getting caught up in thinking or worrying about it, so being able to choose what we then attend to.
Mindfulness has been shown to help us be healthier, less affected by stress, more relaxed, more creative, more open to learning, sleep better, improve our relationships with others and feel happier and more satisfied with our lives.
What's great is it's a skill that anyone can learn and benefit from. It is very simple, and need take only a few minutes a day. But it does take a bit of practice and it may be hard at first. Keep at it and you'll feel the benefits in many areas of your life.
There are lots of different ways to practice mindfulness. If you can, a good place to learn and experience it is to join a class or use a CD or online tool (see Resources below). And there is also a separate action on this website if you'd like to learn how to meditate, which is a great way to be more mindful. However, we can all start by trying a few simple exercises during our daily routine. Try one of these for a week or two and notice what you notice!
1. Observing mindfully
This is about simply trying to increase what we're aware of and our consciousness of what is around us. It only takes a few extra minutes. Here are some ideas to try:
2. Walking mindfully
3. Eating mindfully
Eating is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Have a go…may be try it with a piece of you favourite fruit or even some chocolate…
For more detailed information about Mindfulness and a full set of references see our detailed Notice the world around section.
Day-to-day mindfulness podcast
Explains how mindfulness can reduce stress and increase concentration
Wherever You Go, There You are
Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life
The Mindful Manifesto
How doing less and noticing more can help us thrive in a stressed-out world
Get Some Headspace
Encourages you to take 10 minutes out of your day to sit in the here and now
Mobile meditation app for iPhone and Android
Promoting mindfulness as a way of improving mental and physical problems
Independent, non-profit website dedicated to promoting mindfulness
Mindfulness for Beginners
Brings the practice of mindfulness meditation to the widest possible audience
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Manage your stress levels and improve your physical and mental health.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Helps people break free of the negative thoughts that can lead to depression
Simple, practical tools to help find a bit more clarity and calm in your life
How to meditate: An introduction
Mindfulness meditation could be the key to a calmer, happier, healthier you
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
By renowned mindfulness experts with practical guided exercises
Mindfulness for Dummies
Simple guide to the basics of mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness in Schools
Aims to encourage and promote teaching of secular mindfulness in schools
Happiness and How it Happens
Suryacitta explores what happiness actually is and how we all can achieve it
Offers simple, modern, evidence-based, non-religious meditation courses
Mindfulness changes your brain
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We just need a little bit of information about you before we can add this to ouractions for happiness.
We’ll be in touch soon to give you updates on how the movement is growing