Find out how Mindfulness can help you refocus your thoughts to the present and learn some exercises to help practise the technique.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a technique which can help us bring our attention back from worrying, or thinking too much, to the present moment.
If your mind is caught up in worries about what might happen in the future, or thoughts about what happened in the past, it is easy to stop noticing the world around you.
Experiencing the present moment through your senses – the touch of a door handle, the smell of grass, the sound of birds singing, the colour of the sky, the taste of ice-cream – can help you to just live in the here and now. This is called Mindfulness.
If you are distracted by worries during the day use Mindfulness to refocus your thoughts to the present moment.
Exercises to practise
- If you are walking outside - listen to the noise of a car engine, look at car registration numbers, notice people as they walk past, feel the sun on your face.
- While you are doing an everyday task like ironing or washing up, instead of letting your mind drift - train your attention to focus completely on the task. Experience the sensation of water on your hands, notice the scent of the washing up liquid, listen to the trickle of water from the tap, feel the smoothness of the plates.
- Eat a piece of food mindfully. Choose some food like an orange and engage all your senses. Notice the texture of the orange's skin and how it feels to touch - cold and smooth. Peel its bright orange skin and smell it's citrus fragrance. Notice the sound as you separate the segments. Chew a piece slowly. Notice the bursts of juice and the sweet taste.
Leeds Mind Peer support - offer a range of support groups, workshops and courses including courses in Mindfulness and meditation. Download the latest schedule from the Leeds Mind website.
InkWell - Mindfulness Meditation drop-in group, Wednesdays 10.30am-12pm. Please contact Steve Hart on 07999218450 for more information.
The Free Mindfullness Project- free-to-download mindfulness meditation exercises.
Mindfulness by Mark Williams
The Reality Slap Dr Russ Harris
Books/CDs by Jon Kabat-Zinn - Wherever you go, there you are or Full Catastrophe Living