There is a lot of buzz about mindfulness at the moment with more and more people incorporating the practice into their lives and seeing benefit.
Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that can help you manage and prevent feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, or discontent. It’s a special way of paying attention, without judgement, to the things that are going on around you and also inside you.
Practicing mindfulness can help decrease stress and reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Research also suggests it can help improve quality of life for cancer patients.
Mindfulness is a simple and universal practice that anyone can find benefit from, so why not try it today?
Here are three easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day:
1. Eat mindfully
Eating mindfully is a great way to ease into mindfulness as everybody eats!
The next time you sit down to eat, try to remove all distractions (that includes smartphones!), focus on your food and spend at least 15 seconds just looking at your food, smelling it and imagining what it will taste like before chowing down.
2. Take a moment
If you feel yourself getting stressed or tense, take a moment to focus on your breathing, notice your body and how you are feeling.
3. Use all five senses
Focusing on all five of your senses is a great way to practice mindfulness. All you need to do is pause and notice something you’re experiencing with each of your five senses.
- Look around and notice five things you can see
- Bring awareness to four things you’re currently feeling
- Listen and note three things you can hear in the background
- Take a moment to become aware of two things you can smell
- Focus on one thing you can taste right now
Free mindfulness classes for cancer patients and carers
Did you know that Cancer Council WA offers free mindfulness, meditation, mindful art, tai chi, yoga and exercise classes to cancer patients and their carers?
Thanks to the support of our fundraisers and donors, we have been running free, evidence-based classes for cancer patients and their carers since 2007 through our Life Now program.
Evaluation of our Life Now Mindfulness classes has shown that cancer patients and their carers who participate see a significant decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as a significant decrease in repetitive negative thinking.