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Mindfulness can be described as the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the current moment.
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing right here right now rather than worrying about the past or predicting things that may or may not happen in the future. Mindfulness is an art that takes daily practice and awareness to fully reap the benefits.
Practicing mindfulness has lots of advantages for both body and mind:
There are heaps of simple ways to introduce a mindfulness practice into your daily routine. So, how do you get started?
We recommend the following meditation apps to unwind and still the mind:
The Headspace app features spoken-word exercises that are designed to be used for around 10 minutes a day. Each session is started with a “checking-in” routine, allowing you to get settled in before being guided through a body scan meditation; focusing on the breath and clearing your mind from the worries of the day. Regular users report an increased attention span, a sense of alertness, and an improved ability to handle stressors in daily life.
2. Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind is a fantastic user-friendly app with hundreds of meditations to choose from. Navigate your way through their structured programs such as Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships and Workplace. Most meditations are in the 5 to 15 minute range, with a few practices up to 45 minutes for advanced meditators.
And if that isn’t enough to put a “smile on your mind,” Smiling Mind is entirely free to download an enjoy.
For those of you who are new to meditation and/or time poor, Aura is a great option as it provides the user with daily micro-meditations that last only three minutes apiece.
Aura also boasts some additional features to further promote emotional wellbeing such as the option to keep a gratitude journal, track moods throughout the day, and listen to the sounds of nature.
Tip: Set aside 10 minutes a day for a mindfulness meditation and soon enough this will become part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth in the morning! Still struggling to find the time? Set a daily alarm or reminder to check in and switch off.