Mindfulness can be an intimidating practise for many, especially those juggling a hectic schedule of work and family commitments – but it turns out you don’t need much time, money or effort to get started. Our 8-Week Program expert Jess Allen is here with us to share her top tips for mindfulness and how it can help us learn to let go.
Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t something you have to set aside hours of your day for, nor is it something you need to fork out cash to fund – it’s something you can practise anywhere and at any time.
“You can do mindfulness anywhere that you can safely stop and close your eyes,” Jess says.
Mindfulness is the practise of refocusing your awareness to the present moment, often involving concentrating on sensations like sight, touch, hearing and smell. It can involve intentional meditation or even simply be a part of your daily routine – from work to cooking and exercise. Research shows that engaging in mindfulness can increase grey matter in the brain, while other studies have found it lowers stress and increases general wellbeing. Take a look at a few of the impressive benefits linked to regular mindfulness practise:
- Improved cognition and mental clarity
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood and life satisfaction
- Slowed brain deterioration
Let’s dive into how you can use mindfulness help you learn to let go – plus we’ll be busting a few myths on the topic with our 8-Week Program expert, Jess Allen. She’s a clinical psychologist with a holistic approach to mental health, and is now working with Orygen Digital in digital mental health program planning and implementation. She’s dedicated to helping people improve their quality of life, and believes mindfulness can play a role in giving us that much-needed boost.
It’s okay if it’s not "working" straight away
Many of us will sit down to practise some mindfulness and become frustrated when we’re not relaxed after a few minutes – but Jess says this is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean the exercise isn’t working.
“When I’m working with clients, I commonly hear they don’t like mindfulness, they’re not good at it and they rather avoid it, which is really normal,” Jess says. “But I think it’s built on a faulty assumption that mindfulness is some kind of quick fix exercise that is going to make you feel calm... however that’s not accurate at all; mindfulness is a very active practise so of course we want to bring on a sense of calm but it takes time, patience, practise.
“What mindfulness is really about, is teaching us to be present, it’s teaching us to notice how we’re thinking, how we’re feeling in our present moment and to be ok with that, there’s a lot of acceptance involved.”
Tips to a quick mindfulness exercise
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare in your lunch break, a moment before you go to bed, while you’re cooking dinner or even while you’re on your way to a meeting, you can get a bit of mindfulness in. Here are Jess’s tips to get started.
- Take a moment to yourself
- Find yourself a comfortable position
- Take a deep breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth
- Feel free to close your eyes
- Take a moment to notice how you’re feeling: As Jess says, “It’s really normal to go through our days and be really disconnected from our bodies, so just stop, take a moment and notice if you’re feeling tension anywhere.”
- Notice each breath
- Notice if your thoughts are wondering: “This is something that’s really normal,” Jess says. “When that happens, our mind is doing what it’s supposed to do… but in this moment, we’re going to non-judgementally notice when it happens and shift our attention back onto our breathing.”
- Use your breath as an “anchor” to the present moment
Like the sound of mindfulness? Get access to Jess' full session and exclusive content from our panel of experts when you sign up to the 8-Week Program. If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. We’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality with the support of our panel of experts like Jess. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
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- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!