Being mindful means focusing wholly and completely on the present task and present moment.
Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. You can take steps to develop it in your own life.
Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.
When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.
How to be more mindful
Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.
Mindfulness practices aren’t new – they have Buddhist origins and have been around for thousands of years. For decades now, scientific research has been showing how useful these therapies are for reducing stress, anxiety and depression, helping people manage a wide range of physical conditions, and for our general wellbeing. So mindfulness isn’t only useful if you’re feeling stressed or have a mental health problem – it can help any of us enjoy a more wakeful, healthier, happier life.
Anyone can learn and practise mindfulness; children, young people and adults can all benefit. It can be learnt in person, either through a group course or one-to-one with a trained teacher. There are books, audios and videos and online courses too, where you can learn through self-directed practice at home.