Image by Aleksandr Ledogorov

A Dash of Mindfulness

The ability to be present and aware of what's going on around you without reacting or feeling overwhelmed.  

Sounds pretty zen-like and mystical doesn't it. But how does it work, and how can we do it in the real world?

What Is Mindfulness

Defined in the Oxford Dictionary as a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.

Think of mindfulness as the ability to pause, breathe and just be in the moment. Deliberately paying attention to things we wouldn't normally notice. A break from expectations, rushing around, and rambling thoughts.

Where Did It Begin

Some say mindfulness is at least 2,500 years with its original origins starting in Buddhism. However it has also been noted that mindfulness has discovered to have been used in many other forms of spirituality and religion. Only recently in the last 30 years has it been looked into for its therapeutic abilities

Therapeutic Discoveries

in 1979 Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues used mindfulness based stress reduction, (MBSR) on patience with chronic medical conditions' learning ways of dealing with their severe stress, pain and fear. 

Clinical research shows physical changes such as stronger immune system, and lower blood pressure.

2001 Mark Williams, John Teasdale and Zindel V. Segal developed Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for treatment of depression.

Today Mindfulness exercises have since been adapted to treat many other clinical disorders. 

Image by Fabian Møller

Keen To Give It A Try

Like every new skill, slow and steady is best, and mindfulness is no different. Think of it as a muscle to build and strengthen.

And just like with exercise there isn't a one size fits all kinda move. 

You need to play around and find some that best suit you.

Start with a little and do it often.

And with that the best place to give it a whirl is with the Cat of 5. A gentle mindfulness exercise that makes you focus on the here and now reconnecting you with all your senses, and possibly your cat.

Below are a some mindful exercises to try out 

The Flamingo

The Flamingo a mindfulness exercise that helps improve your concentration, balance and of course your patience while waiting in queues.

Inflatable Flamingo

Cat of 5

A little trick using your 5 senses to distract you from a racing mind. A brilliant combat to counter anxious feelings and thoughts.

Image by Karina Vorozheeva

Cookie Monster

Morning breathing trick to start your day in the right direction.

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