Mindfulness has become a big thing in recent years but what is it? Mindfulness is about noticing what’s going on around you and taking a few seconds to pause and observe, without judgement.
Winter can be an amazing time of year but we quite often get fed up with the dark, cold nights. And with winter holidays on hold this Christmas, this season may feel longer than usual. Mindfulness can teach you to find joy in staying home and to appreciate the beauty that’s right outside your front door. Here’s how...
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How do I practise mindfulness?
It’s really simple. You can practise mindfulness wherever you are, at whatever time of day. It doesn’t require any special gear or knowledge. It only requires you to approach the exercise without judgement and an open mind. It’s a free way to keep your mental health in check over the colder, harsher months.
The only thing you need for this mindfulness technique is a window to look out of. Sit comfortably, making sure you’re warm and feel free to grab a hot drink to have during this exercise. Take a moment to close your eyes and feel your breath moving through your body. Slowly open your eyes. Look out of the window in front of you and observe the following things:
- Notice the colours you see
- Notice any textures you see
- What shapes are there outside your window?
- Notice any activity that’s happening. Is it windy? Is it raining? Is the sun shining? Are there any clouds in the sky? Is there anyone around? Perhaps there are some birds flying nearby. Or the neighbour’s cat is wandering down the street. Look around and take it all in
- What sounds can you hear? If there is no sound, listen to the silence
- What can you smell? Perhaps you’ve just cooked dinner, or maybe you have a scented candle burning. Whatever it is, observe the scent
- Notice how you feel as you observe these things without judgement
Try not to label the things you see but focus on seeing them as they are. If any thoughts enter your mind, allow them to come and go, bringing your attention back to the view outside. Take in the whole scene using the above points as a guide. Remember to leave your judgement behind.
You can practise this for a few minutes or longer, if you enjoy it. The more you practise this, the more you will spot beauty in a place you’ve seen many times before. It keeps your mind focused and helps you to find joy in familiar places where boredom may prevail. Use this technique to find happiness in the darker months of the year.