Mindfulness for mental wellbeing

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice the details around you – like sights, sounds and how you’re feeling.

Mindfulness can help you to become more aware of the world around you, as well as your thoughts and feelings. This can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a technique where you bring your attention to what’s happening in the present moment. You might try to become more aware of things that you can:

  • see
  • smell
  • hear
  • touch

Another part of mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts and feelings as they happen.

Benefits of mindfulness

To practice mindfulness, you should isolate your senses and focus on the present. For example, focus on things that you can see in your current position, or what you hear. This can calm your thoughts and make you more relaxed. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, focusing on the present can put things in perspective and make it easier to deal with problems.

Mindfulness also brings your attention to your thoughts and feelings. By becoming more aware of them, you can start to notice when they take over. This can help you to spot feelings of stress and anxiety earlier which can make them easier to deal with.

Mindfulness is also a good way to take time out for yourself. It can help you relax, recharge and refocus. Mindfulness techniques can also help you sleep better.

How to practice mindfulness

If you’d like to practice mindfulness, you could:

  • follow a guided meditation through a podcast or online video
  • put on relaxing music and light a candle, then focus on the sounds and scents they create
  • go for a walk or sit outdoors and think about the sights and sounds there
  • think about 5 things you can see, wherever you are
  • think about 4 things you can see, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can hear and 1 thing you can smell, wherever you are
  • do activities like yoga or tai-chi to help develop an awareness of your breathing
  • use a mindfulness app like Calm or Headspace
  • try the Feeling Good app – ask your GP if they can refer you for a free account, or access a free account yourself with the option to pay for some features

Mindfulness is easy to practice. You don’t need any training or special equipment, and it doesn’t cost money. You can do it anywhere, at any time.

You can practice mindfulness for just a few minutes, or longer depending on how much time you have. You could try to do it at a regular time so that it becomes routine. For example, at lunchtime or on your commute to work.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life. You can try different options until you find what works for you.

Last updated:
11 July 2024