Over the last few years, you may have heard about the concept of ‘mindfulness’. It has made its way into mainstream culture as a practice that can increase your quality of life. In general terms, it consists of paying attention to what’s going on around you. Being present and aware, turning off the autopilot.
Have you ever been aware of your thought to action process? When we aren’t paying attention, this process is amazingly fast. You think about doing something and you do it immediately, without stopping to think and reflect whether it’s a good choice or not. We are impulsive. Mindfulness helps slow down this process, it teaches you to pause in order to make more conscious decisions, which is fundamental in recovery.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness. A good way to start is meditation. Take a few minutes each day, maybe before you go to bed, to try and clear your mind. It may sound difficult, but the more you practice the easier it will be to just let go of all worries and focus on the present. A good tip is to concentrate on your breathing: inhale, hold, exhale. Do it for 10 – 15 minutes each night and you’ll start noticing positive changes in your attitude. Another way to be mindful is to be grateful. Each day make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for, no matter how big or small. Cultivating gratitude can help you become more mindful, and being more mindful can help you make better decisions and handle challenging situations in the best possible way.