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Mindfulness allows you to pay more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – it can help improve your mental wellbeing.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
How mindfulness helps mental wellbeing
Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.
When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted. Mindfulness also allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience, and to see how we can become entangled in that stream in ways that are not helpful.
How to be more mindful
Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.
It can be helpful to pick a regular time – the morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime – during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.
Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you notice the world in a new way.
To develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: “Here’s the thought that I might fail that exam”. Or, “This is anxiety”.
Different mindfulness practices
As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time for a more formal mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander.
Yoga and tai-chi can also help with developing awareness of your breathing.
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As per government guidelines, staff must take a COVID-19 test each Sunday ahead of attending work each Monday.