Mindfulness... what is it?
So we might have heard of it before, but what does mindfulness mean?
Essentially, mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment. That might sound a little vague, but what it means is that we work to know where our mind’s attention is, and learn to keep our attention where we want it to be. So... we might be thinking about something that's happened a few days ago, or even something that's coming up. Mindfulness means that we take note of what we're thinking of (for example, a test that's coming up in a few days), and then shoot our thinking to what's happening right at that present moment (things like sounds we can hear, things we can physically feel). When our mind starts wandering back to the test that's coming, we bring it back to focus on the 'now'.
Check out this video from Smiling Mind that explains what Mindfulness is:
What's so good about it?
There are a heap of benefits of practising mindfulness, such as:
- Improved memory
- Better concentration
- More flexibility in thinking
- Greater ability to focus
- Less worrying about specific things/events
- Better stress management
- Higher satisfaction with relationships and quality of life
How do I do it?
There are lots of different ways that we can practice mindfulness. Our Youth Advocate Maddy shares her tips below:
- You can download a mindfulness app! We recommend apps such as Smiling Mind (it’s free!)
- You can listen to guides on Youtube such as:
- Or, take some time to think about the things that help you relax! Some examples we have are:
- Drinking a cup of tea
- Lighting a scented candle
- Settling down to watch a movie
- Writing in a journal
- Doing some yoga (try this quick yoga tutorial here)
Mindfulness and relaxation can look different for everyone! For more tips on how we can manage our mental health, check out our tips for coping with stress here, and try something new this week!
Our new online social group, Mindfulness Mondays, is also running on Mondays in June 2020. Check out the flyer for more info here.