A happier, smarter, more energetic you is just a few steps away…
Over the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in the popularity of mindfulness and meditation. Yet still, many of us remain sceptical – or simply feel unable to quieten our minds in a modern world punctuated by the bleep-bleep of smartphones, emails and constant demands on our attention span.
Nevertheless, the benefits have convinced team ELEMIS that it’s worth persevering. Meditation and mindful living have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, increase our energy and focus, improve our close relationships, regulate our sleep and increase our creativity. Some practitioners even swear that meditation gives their skin an inside-out glow.
And according to neuroscientists, all this occurs due to the fact that meditation actually changes the brain – almost as if it’s being re-shaped and prepared for a calmer, happier existence. Trust us when we say it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Here are our favourite ways to become more mindful – starting today.
1. DOODLE: Hot on the heels of the adult colouring book craze is Zentangle. Created in America, it involves intuitive doodling to relax the mind, shift its focus and provide both stress relief and inspiration through repetitive but unplanned actions. The bonus is that you can do it anytime, any place. You can tell your boss that you’re increasing your inspiration levels next time you’re scribbling in meetings. The One Zentangle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun. £14.99.
2. MAKE A WINDOW: A common misconception is that mindfulness and meditation will take up a lot of our time – when we’re too busy answering emails or rushing for a train or similar. But the truth is, meditation can take place anywhere: On your daily commute, while walking your dog, waiting for the bath to run or standing in a queue. Seize any window of time you have to quieten your mind, letting thoughts gently drift in and out without passing judgment, worrying or holding on to them.
3. GET SOME INSIGHT: Digital technology needn’t always be the slayer of good focus or experiencing zen. Insight Timer is an intelligent app featuring 1,301 guided meditations, music tracks and talks created by experts to help you learn to meditate in a way that works best for you. Free (iTunes, Google Play).
4. SWITCH SIDES: Have you ever tried writing or playing tennis with the ‘wrong’ hand? So difficult is it for all but the ambidextrous amongst us, that it requires significantly more concentration to action even the simplest of movements. So bring this idea into your daily life and switch hands while you brush your teeth, write your shopping list or do up you buttons. It’ll stop your mind whirring over problems past and future – and bring it firmly into the present.
5. UNITASK: After years of juggling, we’re finally realising that all this multitasking is destroying our productivity – and fuelling a sense of panic. To calm the mind and power through that work or personal ‘to do’ list, focusing on one task – without distractions – at a time will leave you with a sense of purpose and satisfaction when you complete it. In record time.