Can Mindfulness make you happier?

You may be forgiven for considering Mindfulness to be just another buzzword, but it could in fact be the key to unlocking the contentment and tranquillity you have always craved, as well as having some surprising health benefits.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an alternative way of being, a chance to step outside the stresses of your day to day life and nurture your well-being with care and compassion. To be mindful is to be focused on the here and now, to wake up from the robotic state in which many of us exist and draw happiness from the present moment.

How is Mindfulness beneficial?

Studies have shown that Mindfulness can be effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, in addition to aiding poor sleep, lowering blood pressure and even boosting the immune system - regular meditators get fewer colds!

Tips on being Mindful

It's all very well promising health and happiness, but how do you go about being Mindful? There are two fundamental aspects of Mindfulness, the first of which is regular meditation. This needn't involve spiritual chants or sitting in a back-breaking position for hours on end; simply set aside ten minutes each day to sit quietly and breathe. Let the breath flow naturally, and really feel it as it infuses your lungs, and then as it subsides again. If your mind wanders, don't worry, this is an inevitable, and essential, part of meditation; once you become aware, go back to sitting quietly and breathing.

The second aspect is to live in the moment. While out and about, stop and take a look around; notice the intrepid flower that has colonised the roof of a house, or the tree smoky with a haze of pollen. So much beauty escapes our attention while we worry about what's for tea. Don't forget to pay attention to feelings and sensations within the body as well as without; concentrate on the stretching and relaxing of your muscles as you walk, or the slippery warmth of the soapy water as you do the dishes.

Just a few effortless changes can bring untold benefits to your health, happiness, and well-being.

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