Do you ever feel like you are going through life on auto-pilot? That your days are blurred and you’re not sure when or how you even completed certain tasks?

We all have minds that are constantly racing, full of mindless thoughts often dwelling on the past or stressing about the future, that distract us from what we are actually doing at that time.

Mindfulness is known as the practise of being present in the moment. It can play a large part in improving wellbeing and mental-health by helping reduce anxiety, depression and stress (Langer, 1989). In fact, a growing number of physicians are learning the techniques of mindfulness and integrating it into their therapeutic work in what is known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

Meditation is a key part of mindfulness, which has its roots in Buddhist principles. Yet mindfulness is not only about meditation as many think. But it can be as simple as just focusing on the moment without judgement.

I am happy to admit that I have failed in my attempt to meditate every day. I respect the practise and appreciate all the benefits it provides, but for me, I found it somewhat of a ‘chore’. Something I will come back to when “I have the time” (I am cringing from writing these words).

I have however, found my own way of incorporating mindfulness into my every-day routine – by making a commitment to myself to not use my phone whilst on my commute to and from work. During this time, I don’t allow myself to be stimulated by a screen or my never-ending to-do list. But rather I focus on the present, breathe deeply and take everything around me in.

Of course there are times when thoughts drift in… But my Buddhist teacher has told me that like any new skill, practising mindfulness takes time to master. Your mind needs to be trained to be able to give full attention to something. When it wanders, the challenge is to bring it back. You can’t fight the thoughts but let them in and then let them go…

Practising mindfulness has helped me to remain focused during meetings, when coaching clients, and most importantly when I am with friends or family. I arrive to work or home much calmer, and have noticed street-art in the laneways of Cremorne that I never knew existed!

If you haven’t tried mindfulness before, give it a go when you’re next doing a mundane task like eating your lunch, going for a walk or brushing your teeth.

We all have the ability to move from a mindless state to a mindful one, it is just about finding what gets you there.

For those looking to find out more on practising mindfulness, I would recommend: