These days most of us have heard of mindfulness. Referenced as maintaining your focus on the thoughts and sensations in the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or imagining the future, mindfulness is on the lips of many millennials. So much so, Apple named apps centred on self-care as the biggest app trend of 2018. We reckon it’s no fad though, because making time to pay attention to the moment you’re in can really boost your enjoyment of daily life, and help you look and feel more radiant too.
According to a recent University of Bristol study, participants who practiced mindfulness showed a reduction in anxiety and negative thought patterns, an improved resiliency to stress and better emotional wellbeing too. Well, what’s not to love about that? But like anything, knowing something is good for us and actually doing it can be two very different things – in our time-pressed society, it’s often best to find small changes to make, meaning we can more easily introduce these helpful effects into our day-to-day lives.
Yoga teacher and mindfulness expert Rebecca Foster knows a thing or two about the topic. She describes yoga as “a tool to anchor herself to the present moment.” And she takes that stance of being present with her outside the studio too.
“Mindfulness got me through one of the hardest periods of my life,” Rebecca told us. “I started practicing when I broke up with an ex and I felt like I needed to reconnect with myself. Now I find the more mindful I am, the more I appreciate the smaller things in life, instead of being wrapped up in the issues that I can’t do anything about at that time.”
After practicing yoga and mindfulness for a few years, Rebecca decided to train to become a professional yoga teacher. “I thought I’d really like to share the experience I’d had with at least one other person,” she told us. “For me, mindfulness helps to cultivate beauty from within – I sleep better, my skin glows, and it positively affects how I feel about my appearance. I want others to feel that too.”
It seems we can all benefit from a little mindfulness, and if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start small. We asked Rebecca’s for her tips on how we can easily introduce mindfulness into our day-today lives.
Boost your beauty ritual
From focusing on the soothing feeling of your morning shower, to really enjoying the scents and sensations of your products, your beauty routine is made for mindfulness. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy it all the more.
Switch off auto-pilot
Every now and again, try using your least dominant hand for basic tasks like drinking, opening doors and picking things up. This means you’re less likely to let your mind drift on to other things, as you’ll focus more on what you’re doing in that moment.
Eat meals mindfully
If you tend to jump straight onto Instagram when you’re eating, try to kick the habit. Chew your food slowly and focus on savouring the taste instead – especially if you’ve spent time preparing a delicious meal for yourself.
Write a gratitude journal
It’s easy to take the good things for granted. By writing down each day something you’re grateful for – however small – it can help you appreciate life more.
Do yoga (and keep it up!)
Yoga is essentially guided meditation, helping you really keep your focus on the present moment and calming even the most active of minds. Generally, the more you do it, the better you’ll become at being mindful.
Make mindfulness a habit
Start by doing something mindful that isn’t too difficult to incorporate into your routine. That could be meditating, stretching or simply brushing your hair. Then pick a time each day you do it and stick with it. After three weeks your mindfulness technique will become a good habit that’s hard to stop.
If you’re forgetting to be mindful or your thoughts keep wandering, don’t be hard on yourself. This is the start of a new moment, so you can begin again right now. Instant forgiveness is key to mindfulness. And practice makes perfect.