Life in any city – even a city as laid back as Sydney – is busy, either because of work or the leisure and social activities we squeeze in around it. So it’s really important that we all take a moment to focus and be mindful so that we recognize when we’re feeling negative, anxious or stressed before completely burning out (and being sick for a few weeks like me!).
My dad taught me a really, REALLY simple technique to be mindful, a method that not only helps you, but other people around you as well. He was even kind enough to help me write an article about it below. Hope you enjoy it!
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply remembering to observe your mind and thoughts.
The topic of Mindfulness is a much talked about subject today. Research has shown that it can help to reduce mental disorders such as anxiety, stress and depression. We all know that if we leave our mind unrestrained, its habitual tendency is to wander around to the past, future, another location or even another country! Thinking about the past can result in us regretting what was not achieved or gained, and grand plans for the future may never materialise. When we are unable to meet our expectations and keep thinking about it continuously, the result is those horrible feelings of anger, stress and anxiety which in turn could have an impact on our bodies.
So to stop our mind from inclining towards the negatives, we should learn to recognize when these negative emotions and thoughts arise. This is where the practice of Mindfulness comes into the picture.
How can we be Mindful?
A Buddhist monk told my dad about a very simple technique that sadly, a lot of people (especially in big cities) find very difficult to implement.
He said that you need to start the practice of Mindfulness with a SMILE….
From the time you get up in the morning and until you go to sleep, just remember to have a little smile on your face. So while you’re at work, the gym, walking to the bus stop or train station or picking up your lunch, simply remember to adorn your face with a little smile. (It’s actually a lot cheaper and prettier than any necklace you own, don’t you think?)
When you stop smiling, think of what happened to make it go away and change your focus to get that smile back. The answer might simply be just letting go of the fact that a rude lady pushed in front of you at the bus stop and thinking of your amazing weekend plans instead!
And who doesn’t want to be around someone who is happy, in the moment and enjoying life?!
If you’re super keen and would like to learn more, you can find plenty of meditation teachers around Sydney from yoga gyms to proper schools through a simple google search.