If you want to feel super zen and motivated then slip some simple mindfulness techniques into your morning routine. Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment – fully aware of what’s actually happening in and around you rather than just stuck in your head, worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. It’s proven to increase productivity and reduce stress and anxiety. How? By making you aware of what your mind’s playing at, so you can stop it dragging you down unhelpful paths, and also making you more aware of the world around you, so you’re better able to cope with stress and enjoy life more.
“It’s incredibly easy to incorporate mindfulness into your beauty regime,” says Jo Usmar, co-author of This Book Will Make You Mindful. “By truly focusing on things you usually do mindlessly, you snap out of autopilot and become present in the moment. Learning how to do it for simple things, like brushing your hair or having a shower, will teach you how to do it for more important things – like your work or social life. So instead of mulling over an argument when you’re meant to be emailing your boss, or panicking about bills when hosting a party, you’ll be focusing on the here and now.”
Try this: employ all your senses in the shower. What can you hear (the sound of rushing water)?, what can you smell (your shampoo or body wash)?, what can you taste (the water as it runs over your lips)?, what can you see (steam filling the room)? and what can you feel (the water kneading your skin)?. Then ask yourself – who is in the shower with me? Are you arguing with your colleague in your head? Is the man who cut you up on the road yesterday in there with you, shouting? Is your sister with you, bugging you about that dress you borrowed? Once you’ve identified them, KICK THEM OUT. And then focus your mind back to your senses.
Learning to be present in the moment makes life more vivid and colourful and calms down your body and mind.
This Book Will Make You Mindful by Dr Jessamy Hibberd and Jo Usmar (Quercus, £7.99) is out now