4 Tips to a more mindful life

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose,

in the present moment, and non-judgementally” (John Kabat Zinn)

1. Take small breaks

“Stop” and notice that you are present here and now. You do not need to physically stop what you’re doing, you can for example do it while walking. When you notice that you are stressed, you should “freeze” the situation and observe your feelings as objectively as possible. Where is the stress located? In the stomach? In the neck? In the back? If you have not practised mindfulness before, you might want to try it once you do not feel completely run down. When learning to sail, you do not start when it’s stormy. In the beginning you must generally remind yourself to take such “awareness breaks”. Gradually, as you train yourself to be aware of the present moment, awareness will come on its own.

2. Attend to the moment

The best way to train awareness is to attend to the present moment. Avoid, as much as possible, to do several things at once.

3. Think positively

Do not waste time on the things that make you angry and stressed, but think of a situation that made you happy, for example a time you made a positive and good choice. Do not think negative thoughts such as “I can’t be sick now, I don’t have time for it”. Accept the situation as it is and rather make the most out of it.

4. Connect with your breath

Instead of focusing on breathing calmly, you should simply observe your breath. Just follow the wave of the breath with your attention. When you observe your breath as it is, and rest your attention on it, it will automatically become calmer. Whenever you notice that you have been distracted, you gently, but firmly, bring your attention back to the breath. Continue this for three minutes. You can try this any time of the day.