There is currently a significant amount of research into the benefits of an approach called mindfulness. Most of the time, we find ourselves dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future, we forget to live for now.
Being mindful is the attempt to pay attention to what is happening in the present without becoming preoccupied with the past or the future. Research has shown it can benefit people struggling with a range of psychological and physical symptoms, and that being able to stay in the present moment can actually influence how your brain is activated.
Here’s an example of a typical mindfulness exercise;
Take Ten Breaths
This is a simple exercise to help you get yourself focused and feeling more able to cope with what you’re facing in that moment. This is a tool you can practice anytime anywhere when you notice yourself becoming more anxious and preoccupied with all those thoughts and feelings.
1. Take ten slow, deep breaths. Focus on breathing out as slowly as possible until the lungs are completely empty—and then allow them to refill by themselves.
2. Notice the sensations of your lungs emptying. Notice them refilling. Notice your rib cage rising and falling. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your shoulders.
3. See if you can let your thoughts come and go as if they’re just passing cars, driving past outside your house.
4. Expand your awareness: simultaneously notice your breathing and your body. Then look around the room and notice what you can see, hear, smell, touch, and feel.