The mindfulness movement is becoming popular, but how can busy mums apply it to their daily lives?
It’s easy to dismiss the mindfulness movement as mumbo jumbo. With concepts that urge you to “focus on the present” and “live in the moment”, it can certainly seem a little “out there”.
But mindfulness is not some kooky New Age trend, nor has it anything to do with religion. Simply put, it’s about being more conscious of life as it happens, says psychologist Daniel Koh from Insights Mind Centre.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life,” says Sydney-based relationship mentor and intuitive coach Cimone-Louise Fung. “Being mindful gives you a chance to ‘check in’ on yourself and your feelings. Do it often enough and your daily tasks will seem less of a drudgery and a chore. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and less frustrated, and you’ll make better decisions.”
Meditation is one way to achieve mindfulness, but who’s got one hour to sit still in silence? These practical tips will give you the same results:
Think before you act You’re often in such a rush to get things done that you act on impulse. Instead, take a few minutes to ponder your next step, says Daniel. Ask yourself why you’ve chosen to respond in a certain manner and think about how your decision will affect you. For instance, is it worth getting mad at the driver in the next lane who has cut you off, and then having that one incident ruin the rest of your morning?
Be “present” when with others Do you really listen to your children when they’re talking to you? Put all distractions aside. “Make it a rule to not take your loved ones for granted by focusing on them completely when you’re with them,” says Cimone-Louise.
Find joy in the simple things Take pleasure in everything you do, says Daniel. Observe what’s going on around you and try to look for the beauty in your surroundings. When you’re jogging through the park, for example, don’t be in such a rush to complete your workout. Take in the view, breathe in the fresh air, and thank your legs for carrying you with each step.
Stay in the here and now Every time you find yourself worrying about the future, bring your mind back to the present. “It’s pointless obsessing and stressing about what will happen tomorrow, because you have no control over it. Worse, it takes you away from this moment you’ve got now,” says Cimone-Louise.