Alarm goes off. Snooze. Alarm again. Get up; get dressed in a hurry; grab a banana, and run out the door. Work is chaotic. Meetings. Deadlines. Barely a lunch break. Home. Gym. Make dinner. Shower, and then crash. And repeat.
Where did the day go? And the week? Not to mention the year?
Our lifestyles have become so busy and on-the-go, that we forget to absorb and appreciate our lives; our surroundings, and the little moments that make life worth living.
I have recently enrolled myself in a mindfulness course, hoping to achieve peace and rest in my busy life. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on being in the present moment; in observing and noticing experiences within the body and externally. Typically focus is placed on the breath...the sensations associated with breathing from the abdomen through to the nose. It is not something that you can master overnight, yet with practice it becomes a part of daily life. I have found that over the last four weeks, I have noticed myself practising mindfulness while waiting for the kettle to boil, instead of finding something to occupy my three minutes of waiting.
Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress levels, and be helpful for people suffering from a variety of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. It is also useful for people with chronic pain.
A great practice to start with is the stop acronym which only takes a minute:
Stop what you are doing
Take a breath
Observe any body sensations; the breath, emotions or thoughts.
Proceed with the day
Try this exercise once a day for a week, and notice how a simple minute can influence the outcomes of your day.