Mental Health Awareness Week starts today (11th May), intended to raise awareness of issues relating to mental health and wellbeing, with the focus this year on mindfulness training and how it can be of huge benefit.
Quite simply, mindfulness is just the act of paying close attention to the present moment, forgetting about the past and not worrying about the future. And the best bit? It can be practised anywhere – you can do it as you walk to work, while you’re sat at your desk, inside, outside, at school, at home… anywhere and everywhere.
It can be tailored to suit your own requirements as well – you can practice it for just five minutes or you could spend an hour doing mindfulness training. But how do you actually practice it? There are various techniques to try but an easy one to try is to focus on what you’re doing, down to the most minute detail.
If you’re washing up, for example, pay attention to how the water feels on your hands or the sound of the tap running. Thoughts will inevitably pop into your head but as they do, just acknowledge them for what they are and return your attention to the water. This will help teach you to live in the moment.
If you’re unsure whether mindfulness is the right path for you, have a read of this blog post on the Mental Health Foundation website by a woman named Andrea who has found success managing her depression using various mindfulness techniques.