First we had ‘hygge’ … now we have ‘mindfulness!’
With all these buzzwords flying around, you’d be forgiven for feeling confused.
Do you experience any or all of the following? A head crammed full of thoughts Difficulty in ‘switching off’ at night? Your head feeling utterly overwhelmed?
Well, in a nutshell, mindfulness means achieving a calming effect by paying more attention to the present moment.
So if you’re brushing your teeth, concentrate on that, rather than thinking whether kid’s lunch boxes are prepared, what to have for lunch, or about that next deadline … know the feeling?
Cases of depression, stress and anxiety are ‘on the rise’, and no wonder.
From the moment we wake up, we turn on our phones, swipe for information, don’t really take it in and then the next thought crowds in.
Mindfulness is a technique which helps filter out the ‘noise’, allowing the brain to slow down and take notice of the world around us.
It is easy to forget that we should all live in the moment – we should live for today, and plan for tomorrow, but focussing on the present moment is very soothing and calming.
And while this can be difficult if the kids are squabbling, with the boss breathing down your neck or while caring for someone, mindfulness is also a great asset to our mental well-being.
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, said: “It’s easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour."
“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations we experience."
“It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly.”
Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (or NICE) as a way to help prevent depression for those who’ve had three or more bouts in the past.
Why not start with a simple thing, like being totally aware of your surroundings at a particular time of day – during your morning run, the journey to work or when picking up the kids from school.
Other techniques include trying somewhere new for lunch, or maybe trying a new type of holiday such as a Wigwam® glamping experience.
Professor Williams said: “Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they're doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in."
"It might be useful to remember that mindfulness isn't about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events.”
Other ways of practicing mindfulness include yoga and tai chi, which help concentrate on your breathing.
And while mindfulness might not be a cure all, it is definitely worth a try – along with trying some fabulous Wigwam® Cabins to help you achieve a calmer approach to life!