Move aside, yoga. Everyday mindfulness is the hottest health trend these days. Unlike yoga with its tongue-twisting names and body-contorting poses, it may be easier to get a handle on mindfulness. But what is it exactly?
Mindfulness specialist Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts explains: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” In short, it’s the idea of staying in the moment rather than getting caught up in past or future problems. Through this process, you learn how to better manage stress and sharpen your mental focus.
Ready to start your mindfulness journey? Here are some tips and activities that will allow your brain to get some rest and help you live in the moment.
Author and mindfulness teacher Ed Halliwell says you can start small to practice everyday mindfulness. For instance, pay more attention to when you’re brushing your teeth or taking a shower. You need to be intentional in focusing on the sight, sound, smell and taste of your activities.
Own the problem
You could stand in the bank queue during your lunch hour with a clenched jaw and tapping your foot impatiently… or you could see it as a break. How you view each situation is ultimately up to you, says the team behind meditation app Headspace.
Everyday mindfulness coach Alfred James of the Pocket Mindfulness blog says that you should notice five things in your day that usually go unappreciated. Then think about what life would be like without them.
Go off the grid
Renew your perspective and reconnect to yourself and the world by, ironically, taking time to disconnect. Everyday mindfulness doesn’t get more glamorous than at Restival, a retreat-meets-festival held in Arizona.
Held every September, the retreat is designed for city slickers who need time away from the hustle and bustle. Expect hikes to the top of a volcanic crater; meet a Navajo elder; get your hands dirty at art workshops and luxuriate in a spa with its own flotation tank.
Cook a healthy meal
Mindful eating starts with a healthy diet and one way is to eat more grains, which are an important source of nutrients. Follow this video for a quick and easy recipe for pesto quinoa stuffed tomatoes in just 20 minutes!
Bathe in the forest
Did you know? Trees protect themselves by emitting germ-busting and insect-repelling substances called phytoncides which when breathed in, can strengthen our immune system. By being in the presence of trees and “forest bathing” (shinrinyoku), one can fully enjoy the benefits of phytoncides.
Forest bathing is believed to be so effective that it has been part of Japan’s national public health programme since 1982, with nearly 50 forest medicine trails across the country!
Throw meditative clay
“Throwing” a pot is an art and one of the most mindful activities around as you learn to lose yourself completely in the experience, says the team at Irish ceramics studio Kinsale Pottery and Arts. The County Cork-based studio runs a wide range of experiences together with psychologists and yoga instructors, like the Creative Exploration and Mindfulness course.
Keep your body moving
Maintaining a healthy mind involves a healthy body. It’s common knowledge that regular exercise brings many benefits – something you can be sure to enjoy when you stay at a Fraser serviced apartment. With fitness facilities like a 24/7 fully-equipped gym, steam and sauna and swimming pools, there’s no excuse to skip a workout.
If heading out is not an option for you, you can still get moving with home workouts. Check out the easy workouts you can do at home as demonstrated by fitness aficionado and triathlete Shela Tan.
Run a mindful triathlon
Running and stretching coupled with time for reflection can help increase everyday mindfulness. Yoga gurus Wanderlust have combined a 5km run with a 90-minute yoga class and a 30-minute meditation session to create the Wanderlust 108 mindfulness triathlon.
Unlike regular triathlons, the Wanderlust edition is not a competition and times aren’t recorded. You are only asked to enjoy the moment and achieve your personal best – a perfect, stress-free item to add to your bucket list! The triathlon is now in 60 cities, including Perth, Berlin and Miami.
Take a sound bath
A bath is always relaxing, and a sound bath is no different – except it does not involve any water! Instead, sound bathers believe that striking a gong or crystal bowl can help clear your mind and calm you down.
Indulge yourself by booking a session at George van Tassel’s famed 1950s structure, the Integratron in the Mojave Desert, which is known for its acoustics and sound baths. Or check out the futuristic Woom Center in New York, which blends traditional musical instruments with visual projections.
Retreat into calm
Practice everyday mindfulness at selected Fraser properties, where there is a sanctuary unique to Frasers Hospitality that will help to recharge your physical and mental power.
The Retreat offers not only business meeting facilities but a space to soothe and calm you. Enter into a realm of peace and tranquility with comforting music while you lounge in a relaxing massage chair. The special ambience of The Retreat will help prepare you for the world out there.
Take your mindfulness practice to the next level with a luxurious wellness holiday, in exotic destinations like Nusa Tenggara Timur in Indonesia, Shangri-La in China, and Wadi Bani Khalid in the Oman desert. On your way there, stopover in Jakarta, Chengdu and Muscat respectively, and discover the remarkable Fraser properties there.