Mindfulness might sound like a gimmicky practice if you’re not into wellness, however studies have shown that breathing techniques and meditation can have positive results. From improving sleep to aiding digestion and supporting your immune system, the benefits are endless.
We sought some expert advice from Cecilia Rollén, a certified holistic wellness coach (specialising in yoga, pilated, nutrition, mindset) who offering holistic lifestyle, body, and nutrition coaching.
Scroll down for Cecilia’a top tips for being more mindful.
1. Connect with the moment - breath and body
“When we’re busy we’re not focused on our body (inside and out). That’s why yoga is so wonderful, it focuses on connecting your breath with your movement, and timing it with each breath.”
“When we are connected with the moment, we are free from the stress linked to thinking about the future, and we’re free from our past, which is connected with depression and anxiety. When you’re able to focus with what’s going on right now, and through breathing, then you truly are mindful. Mindfulness isn’t not thinking, it is being able to distance yourself from your reactions and to note what is going on at the present moment.”
Top tip: For an immediate stress relief; take three long breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Full breaths, that last at least eight seconds (four in, four out).
2. Stop multitasking
“Doing too many things at once stops us from being mindful, which is being present and being aware of what we’re feeling and thinking. Stop multitasking, don’t go on your phone while you’re on Netflix – whatever task you are doing, try to be just focused on that.”
3. Practice gratitude
“When we think strive for things that we desire in the future, we kind of forget what we have – and that’s taking away from mindfulness. Being content with what you have in this present moment connects you to the present a lot more.”
4. Notice your reactions and triggers
“This is something I do with my nutrition clients, when they start with me, they get them a journal and a food log where the most important thing I want them to know is the emotional state that they were in, and what triggered them, for example, hunger, boredom, stress or something else.”
“Start to notice what your triggers are, and become aware of them and your reactions to other people and situations. Being mindful means not being a slave to our emotions and other peoples’. It’s okay to eat more when feeling stressed, or feeling more upset – recognising that is a huge skill in developing and improving your mindfulness.”
5. Meditate (whatever that means for you)
“Meditation to me doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on a pillow in a room with an altar and a Buddha or something like that. Whatever you feel most comfortable doing, whether that’s drawing, writing, walking, just find something that takes you into the moment, connecting you with your breath and the present moment, because that’s what meditation is.
“Sure lifting weights or running could help you disconnect, but these break the body down to then build it up, whereas meditation will always give you rest, helping your body to recover. We need that moment, (especially now that our lives are so stressful as they are) to allow us to have that creativity and recovery and to stop us from rushing ahead. So meditation can be painting, drawing, walking, or actual meditation. But whatever it may be, just find a moment of peace, quiet, stillness, and stop thinking about anything else or rushing ahead, just be able to connect with you.”