Healthy Habit 3: Mindfulness and Play
Now feel free to correct me if anything I write here is wrong as I am certainly no expert on the subject of mindfulness!
The way I understand mindfulness is that it is about being in the present moment and your thoughts and feelings are toward exactly what it happening to you at that moment and no where else. Sounds pretty straight forward really but if Im honest I think I actually spend more time thinking about my future than the present.
Mindfulness seems to be a bit of a buzz word at the moment but Im totally on board with this. When I think about all the times I have been my happiest they are when I have been completely focused on the moment. Below are a few examples of where my attention has not been anywhere other than on the moment and I have felt extremely happy. However, they probably aren’t what many would consider typical mindfulness:
- Skiing or snowboarding down a mountain in the Alps
- Catching a wave on a surfboard in Biarritz
- Trying not to fall off a stand up paddle board off Shoreham beach
- Quad biking in Egypt
- Climbing at Boulder Brighton with my niece
- Watching Lee Evans stand-up live at the Brighton Centre
- Bouncing on a huge trampoline at Knockhatch Farm with my son
- Painting pictures at home with my son
- Climbing trees at Buckingham park with my son
- Playing Michael Jackson dance on the Wii (not on my own, with friends honest)
- Playing Singstar on PS3 (again not on my own, with friends, ok maybe once on my own!)
- Going down the Kamikaze slide at a waterpark in Portugal with my best friend
I could keep going but I expect you are getting bored already. Anyway, my point, which I haven’t really explained at all yet, is that doing activities that focus my attention on the present moment seems to make me feel good so I reckon I need to do more of them. In fact I think if something feels good and it doesn’t harm me or anyone else I should probably do it every day. ‘Mindfulness’ or ‘Play’, call it what you like, it really doesn’t matter, what matters is that you engage in this healthy habit as often as you can.
Now obviously whatever you choose has to be right for you. I did a bungee jump once and I don’t fancy doing another one. I was definitely present but it felt more stressful than fun!
Here are some other suggestions that might work for you or might not:
- Adult colouring books (try these free downloadable ones HERE)
- Singing in a choir
- Something creative like drawing, painting, building
- Playing an instrument
- Watching a really good boxset
- Watching a good movie
- Playing on a games console
Im sure I can squeeze in at least 30minutes of play in my day. Im going to have a bloody good go at it anyway!
Now go have some play-time and feel free to share your experiences 🙂