It’s no secret that life in Singapore is hectic and busy — and that can take a toll on our mental health.
Practising mindfulness is one of the ways that we can look after our mental health. More than just a trending buzzword, mindfulness can help tremendously with your daily life as well as your work. Practising mindfulness has been linked to raised productivity, reduced stress, increased emotional intelligence, heightened creativity and improved physical well being.
So what exactly is mindfulness?
Being mindful is the ability to be fully present in the moment of whatever you are doing. It could be about doing a task on hand, a conversation with someone, having a meal alone, or working on a skill. Mindfulness is something that everyone is capable of, but it does require practice.
Here are a couple of easy ways of how you can start introducing mindfulness into your daily life.
How To Develop Mindfulness
#1: Wake up 3 minutes earlier
Instead of rushing through your normal morning routine, use the extra 3 minutes to sit still and be present in the moment. Take the time to observe how your body feels, what your mood is for the day. This will help to ground you, especially if you are still shaking off your sleepy thoughts, and start the day with the right frame of mind.
#2: Eat mindfully
Put your phone away when you are eating. Chew slower than you normally would, and feel the taste and texture of the food in your mouth, right down to how it slides down your throat. This simple practice gives you time to be more aware of the food you are eating and also helps with digestion.
#3: Enjoy a bit of sun
Make it a routine to take a 10 minute walk every day — whether it’s around the neighbourhood or at a nearby park. Leave your earphones behind at home and pay attention to the sounds around you as you clock those steps. Instead of looking at your phone, look around instead and see if there are any interesting moments in your surroundings that catch your attention.
#4: Pick up a hobby that involves working with your hands
There is something gratifying about creating with your own two hands. It could be woodworking, knitting, or colouring, so long as it is brings you away from your laptop and mobile devices. Not only would you have something tangible for your efforts, sustained practice in this hobby can bring immense satisfaction when you see the improvements that you have made over time.
#5: Count your Breath
Meditation is one of the most effective and popular methods to practice mindfulness — but we know it can be hard to get started. One of the easiest ways is to focus on your breath. A simple breathing technique would be the 4-7-8: take in a breath for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and release it slowly for eight seconds. Find a quiet time during the day, such as before you wake up or right before you go to sleep, and practise this for five minutes every day. You’ll find that it gets easier the more you try.