Thursday, 18 October 2012

Be mindful...have a cup of tea.

There are so many ways of being mindful but often it's the simple things that are the most effective. One of my favourites is 'have a cup of tea'.

Stepping stones across the waterThe idea is to focus totally on what you are doing - the complete opposite of multi-tasking! Pour the tea into your favourite cup, notice the colour, the warmth of the cup in your hands, the weight of the cup. Sip it slowly and notice how the tea tastes and feels in your mouth.  Enjoy each sip and concentrate on just that.

If you find your mind wandering, then notice that this is happening. Then gently bring your attention back to the cup of tea. That's it!

It's that easy and that difficult. Generally we do several things at once and our minds flit about - planning, (or is it worrying about), the future and looking back on, (or fretting about), the past. The cup of tea gives you something physical to focus on and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

It may seem difficult to keep your mind focused but think of it as a kind of mind training. If you went to the gym for the first time, you wouldn't expect to perform as well as if you'd been training for a while.

Of course it doesn't have to be tea. It does help though to keep it quite simple. You can then observe yourself and how your mind reacts to this exercise. You can see how it wants to drift off into random thoughts or keeps returning to a particular worry. You have a chance to take a step back and observe your mind in action, gently returning it to the task in hand each time it wanders off.

Learning to focus your mind in this way can have both calming and energising effects - unlike multi-tasking...

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