Mindfulness seems to be the latest craze with everyone talking about it and writing about it, but what is it and how can you incorporate mindfulness into your already jam packed day? At Scentered we are here to tell you how.
Have you ever been driving back from work and the next thing you know, you are already sitting in the front seat of your car, in your driveway, with no recollection of how you got there? Well that is the opposite of mindfulness. The opposite of mindfulness is putting your body in autopilot whilst you are replaying old conversations, making to-do lists and trying to think about what you are going to have for dinner. Studies show that this autopilot way of thinking can consume up to 50 percent of our time!
So, in simple terms, mindfulness is being present in the moment, being aware of your surroundings, feelings and listening to your body. Centering yourself in the here and now can ease anxiousness, reduce stress and leave you with a more positive mindset. Whilst this all sounds amazing, you’re probably thinking, how can I fit this into my busy schedule? Here are our top five tips for incorporating mindfulness into your daily life:
Be mindful in the shower
What do you think about every morning in the shower? A work deadline that you need to meet this week, whether your kids have everything they need for school, if there is enough milk in the fridge for breakfast this morning?
Whatever you may be thinking about, we can guarantee that all of that thinking-thinking-thinking isn’t actually productive. All of the worrying thoughts passing through your head probably aren’t going to lead to a eureka moment when you step out of the shower. Instead, all you achieve is working yourself up about things you can’t presently do much about.
Next time you step into the shower, centre yourself and become more mindful of your present surroundings. Feel the warmth of the water running across your skin, the scent of your favourite body wash, the bubbles of your shampoo on your scalp and you will begin your day to a more positive start.
You don't need to do it 24/7
Studies have shown that being mindful for short bursts is more beneficial than being mindful throughout the whole day. It is okay to daydream and let your mind wander! In fact, being mindful from the moment we wake up to the second we fall asleep would probably lead to sensory overload. When you next get a spare five minutes during your day, take the time to become aware of your surroundings and notice how you’re feeling. After being mindful is the perfect time to let your mind wander and be creative, as your thoughts will not be busy with the usual monkey-mind jabbering that is usually going on in your brain.
Become a mindful queuer
Queuing is part of our life, something we practice every single day. Queuing for our morning Starbucks, queuing in traffic, queuing at the supermarket, queuing for a lift, waiting on hold, waiting for the microwave timer. Whilst queuing it can be easy to get stressed and feel flustered. Instead of seeing these as ‘argh’ moments, see them as an opportunity to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be carried out crossed legged making ‘omm’ noises, but can be something you can do wherever you find yourself, whether that’s in the queue for your morning coffee or in line at the supermarket checkout. Become aware of your surroundings, notice how your clothes feel against your skin, what can you smell? What can you hear? Turn a situation that could negatively impact your day, into something positive.
Be mindful with scent
Scent is a very powerful way of aiding mindfulness. At Scentered we encourage you to apply our Scentered Aromatherapy Balms to your pulse points, including your wrists, neck and temples and allow the aromas to diffuse around you. As the essential oils warm up with your skin “stop-inhale-reset” for a quick way of centering yourself back in the room.
This method can be used for all of your favourite scents whilst you are meditating or relaxing; light a Scentered Aromatherapy Candle, spay a room mist or apply your balm. Your brain will quickly make a strong connection between that scent and bring you to a more peaceful place. Being conscious of your surrounding aroma will instantly allow you to be more mindful and centre yourself in the room.
Top tip: don’t just sniff the aroma of your candle, balm or mist, but really inhale deeply and allow the essential oils to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Learn to meditate
Unlike the other four of this list, meditation can take a little longer, but it doesn’t mean 30 minutes sat on the floor being completely still in the dark surrounded by candles. Meditation can be carried out for five minutes at a time, whenever you get a spare moment. Next time you have a gap in your day, find somewhere comfortable to sit, whether that is in bed, on your sofa or behind your desk at work. Close your eyes, slow your heart rate and focus on your breath and the scents and sounds of your surroundings. An easy way of starting your meditation is try to figure out the furthest sound you can make out.
Once we know how to apply it, mindfulness can become an incredible tool that can improve our productivity, our general mood and even our physical health. You don't need to pay a fortune to go on a retreat or consult with a white-clad spiritual guru; you can just get started right now, on your own.