How to Include Mindfulness in Your Day

How to Get Started with Mindfulness

When life gets busy or stressful, it can be easy to get caught up in your thoughts and feelings.

This is where mindfulness can really come into its own. It’s all about being “in the moment” and taking stock of how this makes you feel so that you can take greater control over your mental health and well-being.

How Can Mindfulness Help You?

From a mental health perspective, mindfulness can help you to step back from your thoughts as you become more aware of them. You might be able to see patterns in your thought processes that you weren’t in a position to recognise before ,which you can then work on retraining into more helpful thought patterns.

Another benefit of mindfulness is the opportunity to take back some control over your thought processes. By acknowledging your thoughts but not dwelling on them, you’re taking away most of their power over you. Instead of being  overwhelming, they become easier to deal with.

Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

You don’t need to find a big window in your diary to start including mindfulness in your day-to-day life. It’s something that you can focus on whenever you have some free time, even if this is just for a few minutes at a time.

It can be hard to get to grips with mindfulness at first and you may find yourself feeling discouraged by the thoughts and worries that are likely to come into your mind when you start to focus on the world around you.

The trick is to let them flow over you, rather than trying to make them go out of your mind. Bring yourself “back” when your mind starts to wander.

Examples of Mindfulness in Action

Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated and it’s surprisingly easy to find opportunities to do so. Here are a few easy ways to introduce it into your day:

Be aware of your breathing: When you’re feeling stressed, focusing on your breathing can help to calm you down. It’s also a way to practice mindfulness and can be done pretty much anywhere. For the next few breaths, concentrate on how you feel as you breathe in and out deeply. You may find that you need to alter your breathing pattern as you pay close attention to it and this gives you more opportunity to note the sensations.

Relax your facial muscles: Stress and tension can lead to the muscles in your face becoming tight. Taking a few minutes to relax your forehead and jaw can help to ward off stress induced pain (especially headaches) and can even encourage you to feel calmer as you release the tension.

Listening to music: Mindfulness can also be as simple as listening to music and immersing yourself in the tempo. Music with a slow beat is generally recommended as it is more relaxing. As you listen, think about the sound of the music and how it makes you feel.

Want to learn more about mindfulness? There are various courses you can take (both online and in person) that will teach a broad range of mindfulness skills in more depth.

 

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What to Know About …. Flaxseed

What's the Deal With Flaxseed_You’ve probably noticed that flaxseed has become a really trendy health food lately. These seeds are now often added to things like bread, crackers and cakes but how does they benefit your health? Here’s what you need to know about flaxseed for good health!

A Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Flaxseed contains a number of nutrients that are important for health, including vitamin B1, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.

An Alternative to Gluten

If you’re coeliac or can’t tolerate gluten, flaxseed is an ideal substitute as it’s gluten free.

Heart Healthy

Flaxseed is a great source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha linolenic acid (ALA). In fact, it’s second only to chia seeds for this.

Our bodies don’t create this essential fatty acid so we need to get it from our food instead.

Flaxseed oil is the best source of ALA but you can get a good amount from ground flax too.

Flax also contains plant compounds known as lignans. These are linked to cardiovascular health and can lower your blood pressure and improve the condition of your arteries.

Flax is high in fibre too, which may go a long way in explaining its positive effects on cholesterol.

Good for Digestive Health

The fibre content in flaxseed also helps to improve digestive health. You’re unlikely to be constipated if you’re eat flax on a regular basis!

Healthy Skin and Hair

Essential fatty acids are also good for helping your skin and hair to stay in tip-top condition.

If your skin and hair is currently dry and dull, upping your intake of fatty acids can be a game changer. Flax is a great source of these and the B vitamins.

Fighting Cancer

Studies on animals have shown that flaxseed could have a big role to play in the fight against cancer.

A 2010 study found that hens who were fed a diet containing flaxseed had big decreases in the size of late stage ovarian tumours.

The results were so impressive that the study’s researchers believe flaxseed could be used as a treatment for ovarian cancer in the future. There’s still a long way to go before that could become a reality but it shows the potential power that flax can have on our health.

As you can see, these seeds may be small in size but they pack a real punch from both a nutrition and a health perspective!