As I write this, Singapore is returning to Phase 2 pandemic measures due to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases within the community. Over the week, gyms closed their doors, people returned to a work-from-home arrangement, while social gatherings were whittled down to a maximum of just five people. Along with these came tons of text messages, phone calls, Zoom meetings and a gradual decline in positivity.
It’s natural to feel apprehensive and anxious in the face of an uncertain future. But remembering that these changes lie beyond our control is important. Amid this unpredictable situation, we need to strive to find mental clarity in order to live each day to the fullest. One of the ways that can keep us from feeling frazzled is to try and incorporate mindful moments throughout the day.
When people think of mindfulness, they tend to think of it as a lifestyle and also immediately relate it to things like meditation, yoga and stillness. The concept of mindfulness had always been rather vague and unquantifiable. But mindfulness doesn’t have to be a lifestyle, or a way of living, so to speak. It can simply be a daily tool we can use to help us improve our emotional well-being.
The benefits of practising mindfulness have been proven with research. It reduces stress, increases positivity and the overall quality of life, and can help deal with burnout, depression and mood disorders.
When we are distracted and constantly multitasking, we don’t notice the small things around us.
For many years, the concept of living mindfully seemed unattainable and unrealistic with my own hectic lifestyle. But once I was able to break down mindfulness into bite-sized, manageable moments, I started to see and enjoy positive benefits.
Through years of working with clients, I have found that just by making time for a few mindful moments through the day, one can train the brain to be calm, focused, and attuned to the environment.
When we practise mindfulness, we pay attention to our breathing, thoughts, feelings, what we see, smell, taste by being acutely aware of our surroundings. When we are distracted and constantly multitasking, we don’t notice the small things around us.
In my Getting to Happy set of cards that are designed to help people find happiness, I highlighted three simple ways in which you can create and cultivate mindfulness every day. Before we delve into them, I would like you to dismiss the notion that we need to be serene and content beings to be able to use these methods.
Mindfulness can be taught, and with practice, can become a tool that is used to increase your physical and mental health. With all the added stress we feel now, I’d like to encourage you to try these three simple mindfulness techniques.