If you're feeling anxious, stressed or just like you need to step back and take perspective, a good place to start is by focusing on mindfulness.
The theory behind it is simple – to accept and be aware of your emotions in the present moment, whether those emotions are positive or negative.
A good analogy is to think of your emotions and thoughts as cars on a busy road. Rather than running out into the road and causing chaos, it's important to sometimes simply sit on the sit of the road and watch the cars as they go by.
Here are a few easy ways to become more mindful in your daily life, no matter how busy you are.
1. Focus on single tasks
Try to avoid multi-tasking where it is not necessary. Focus on the task at hand – be it eating, showering or writing an email. Allow yourself to be slow and deliberate rather than rushing through everything.
2. Take time for you each day
Whether you walk home from work without scrolling through Facebook, or have your afternoon cup of coffee outside of the office, be sure to take a few minutes each day without distractions or stresses from other sources.
Meditation is an active training of the mind that can actually improve and change how your brain works, as well as giving you a better quality of sleep and a reduction in stress levels. Start by trying ten minutes a day and we guarantee you'll be hooked in no time. Free apps like Headspace or Simply Being guide you through each session to give you a good base point to start from.
4. Focus on the now
So many of our worries are related to things that haven't even happened yet – where out career is going or if we're making the right decision about our love life. Try to live more in the present and take each day at a time. When you notice your negative thoughts wandering towards the future, try to bring yourself back to the present moment and what you are doing right now.
5. Be present
Aim to really listen next time you're having a conversation with a friend or family member, rather than letting your mind wander or thinking about what you're going to say next. Enjoy the time you're spending with that person and really savour the moment.