mindful living
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A Beginners Guide To Mindful Living

A beginner’s guide to mindfulness and how mindful living can improve your life. Featuring suggestions for mindful activities, exercises, and habits to adopt.


What Is Mindfulness?

The practise of mindfulness means to maintain a constant awareness of thoughts, feelings and the world around us.
Have you ever gone on a journey, driven from A to B or walked a familiar route and realised that you remember nothing of the journey?  Finished a meal and had no memory of eating it? I’ve even read pages of a book and not taken any of it in!
It happens to us all and is a perfect example of mindlessness, a complete lack of awareness.
When we are on autopilot it is almost like being in a dreamlike state, we are not present in life.
Going through life this way means, we are not properly in tune with our thoughts, we may miss important signals from our bodies and will fail to notice the beauty in life and our surrounding environment. We are so busy doing that we forget to be aware and really live our lives to the full.
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So Why Is Mindfulness Important?

On autopilot, we are so busy doing that we forget to be aware and really live our lives to the full. We leave ourselves open to depression, anxiety and stress. 
When we practice mindful living we wake up from this dreamlike state and fully participate in life. 

The Benefits Of Mindfulness 

There are so many benefits to mindful living that I could write all day but for everyone’s sake I’ve condensed it down to this list.
  • Decreased feelings of depression.
  • General health can be improved.
  • You may find you are more patient.
  • You may perform better at work.
  • Better control over emotions.
  • Increased self-awareness.
  • Improved sleep.
  • Memory may be improved.
  • Increased patience, focus and concentration.
  • Greater satisfaction.
  • It’s completely free.
mindful living

How To Practice Mindfulness 

Now I can’t promise you a state of complete bliss. Mindfulness is all about bringing your mind to the present moment. 
Your mind will wander as minds tends to do but learning to be aware of this and making a conscious choice to return to the present is the important thing. 
Mindfulness is a simple concept that can be tricky, but with regular practice, the work will soon pay off.
Here are some key points to practising mindfulness.
  • Give yourself a set amount of time. 5 or 10 minutes is a good place to start. You can build up the time as your practice improves.
  • Choose a time of day when you won’t be interrupted.
  • Practice mindfulness in a space that is calm and peaceful.
  • Focus on the breath and bringing your mind back to the present.
  • We all have judgements. Acknowledge yours and then let them pass. Do not focus or dwell on them.
  • Accept that your mind will wander and just gently bring it back to the present.
  • Be conscious of your body and posture. Ensure you are in a stable and comfortable position.
  • Don’t try to shut everything out. If there is noise around you acknowledge it then bring your mind back to focusing on the present.
  • Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future.
  • Don’t attempt to empty your mind, accept your thoughts and move past them. Always bring the focus back to the present.


Habits Of Mindful Living You Need To Adopt

  • Stop clock watching.
  • Notice the environment around you.
  • Take a tech and social media break every day.
  • Listen intently. Give each conversation you have your undivided attention.
  • Learn to trust your gut.
  • Always think before you speak.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Make time each day just for you.
  • Try to be aware of your breathing as much as possible.
  • Be grateful.
  • Don’t let another person’s negative mood affect yours.
  • However, you must accept your own emotions and feel whatever you feel.
  • Don’t fill your house with clutter, think before you buy.



5 Mindfulness Exercises To Get You Started


Mindful Breathing 

Start by slowly breathing in and out. Take 3 seconds on the inhale and 3 on the exhale.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make the breathing effortless.
Concentrate fully on the breath. Let go of your thoughts. Let them pass you by.
Focus on your body. Watch the rise and fall of the breath.
Start with practising this exercise for 1 minute and gradually build up the time.

Mindful Body Scan

This meditation practice is an easy way to get in touch with how you are feeling.
Starting at the feet and gradually moving up to the head focus on each body part, paying close attention to how you feel.

Set A Daily Intention

Choose 1 thing that you wish to accomplish each day. Make the intention a bold statement.
I intend to finish the group project today”
An intention is so much more powerful than a hope or even a plan. Being intentional implies determination. When you set the intention you are determined to make it happen. 
Each intention gives your day a sense of purpose.
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Mindful Seeing

Look out of the window. What can you see? Trees? Cars? People? Birds?
Now really look. What colours and textures can you see, focus on how everything moves. How do the things you are looking at interact with one another?
Really focus on everything you can see, if your attention wanders bring it back to the colour or texture.

The Five Senses Exercise

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You notice something that you are experiencing with each of the five senses.
  • 5 things you can see. Try to choose things that you don’t normally notice.
  • 4 things you can feel. What textures, surfaces and sensations can you feel?
  • 3 things you can hear. Notice what you can hear in the background. Try to separate the sounds.
  • 2 things you can smell. Take notice of pleasant or unpleasant odours.
  • 1 thing you can taste.
mindful living

So Can Mindful Living Can Change Your Life?

I can’t tell you that your life will change instantly but I can tell you how my life has changed.
Since I began practicing mindfulness I have become so much more aware. I’m aware of other people’s feelings, I notice the beauty in life and because of this, I can appreciate this life a lot more.
I don’t let the little things get to me so much, I can take a breath and realise that I don’t need to react to this situation.
In reality, my life hasn’t changed, the things that used to stress me out are still there for the main part. It’s how I choose to respond to these stressors that is different. The change is within me, not life that happens around me.
That’s the beauty of Mindfulness you don’t need to take on the world, just yourself.
I would recommend to anyone to give mindfulness a try. If you have already begun the practice, how is it going for you?

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A Beginners Guide To Mindful Living

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