We've mentioned the idea of mindfulness a few times already as it’s something we whole-heartedly believe helps us achieve a more balanced, fulfilling life. It's an opinion Kat shares, our new #BTHOUGHTFUL contributor and founder of Movement for Modern Life. Her online class site hosts a wealth of ways to move your body and exercise your mind. For her inaugural #BTHOUGHTFUL post, we asked her to share five top tips for the mindfulness newbie. Over to Kat... Kat's easy mindfulness tips We all know that mindfulness or meditation are a good idea. But who has the time? It’d be so lovely to go on a proper full-length course to teach you mindfulness. And I do thoroughly recommend it if you can! I founded Movement for Modern Life because I was super-busy and didn't get the time to go on the retreats, I hardly even got to go to class because I was trying to fit it all in. And when we charge around trying to get to class, we’re definitely not being mindful and are kind of defeating the purpose! So I have developed, over time, tips and ways in which I try to integrate meditation/mindfulness practices into my life. The point is, when I do that, I don’t need to disrupt my lifestyle or change my routine too much for better physical or mental health, it is already part of it. To me, this is the beauty of the mindfulness practice. 5 easy mindfulness tips I have 5 easy mindfulness tips to integrate into your life, so you can reap the benefits and not go through the struggle!

1. Start to notice yourself in the world

Whenever you start to feel the welling up of, say, anger, sadness or happiness. Start to make a mental note of it. Don’t try to stop it happening. Just take one mili-second out of your anger/happiness or whatever and say to yourself 'ahh-ha, this is interesting, I'm now feeling...'. The very act of noticing how you feel is the first step of consciously deciding to create your world. If, for example, you’re feeling sad or depressed, don’t try to change it – just notice it and really experience it.

2. Know that You Create Your World

You can create your own world! Know that the story that your mind tells you about events, the judgements, the 'oh this is terrible because...', or 'yay, this is so brilliant...', is all in your mind, literally. The events of life would happen with or without your internal value judgement as to whether or not it was brilliant or terrible. And we experience a lot of anxiety over judging events of life, the outcomes that may or may not happen. Once you know that you are literally master of your own universe, that you get to dictate how you feel about things – well, you feel a lot more in control. And happier.

3. Wake Up Mindfully!

When the alarm goes off, what's the first thing you do? Grab your phone? Check your emails? This is a potentially beautiful 5-10 minutes when you have the power to change the whole focus and energy of the day through your power of intention. Try to discipline yourself just for this 5 minutes, to starting the day with a 'body scan', feel how you feel in your body, and then spend the next 5 minutes making an intention for the day. This is so powerful! You'll be surprised how your mind creates your reality.

4. Be aware of your distracted energies

It seems that technology is conspiring to make us lose our focus; there are so many notifications, pings and beeps in our lives. Just be aware that every ping you respond to when you're in the middle of doing something else is a choice. You are choosing to lose focus on what you had decided to do, and be aware that the loss of focus is a training for your mind that it's OK for it to lose it’s attention span. Try to very consciously only respond to your phone, or texts or email at certain times. And become aware of how you are using technology. For example, I know that when I'm doing a tricky project, I'll pick up my phone, to search out distractions and try to get away from the uncomfortable task at hand. Be aware of that and find solutions for you to fit into your life so you can lead the life your grandmother would like you to have lived.

5. Try to extend your Mindfulness

Mindfulness as a practice of controlling mood swings and your own mind is amazing. But try to extend mindfulness to being mindful about the impact your every action will take. This was written on Earth Day. Try to assess your impact on the world and others in every action you take. A big ask, but just trying to extend the practice to others I think makes it truly impactful.

I find this meditation really useful. I take the tips and techniques of walking meditation and when I’m dog walking twice a day, I try to dedicate just 5 minutes to solid mindfuless on walking. This focuses the mind, so that your focus and strength of resolve will grow when you need it most during the day.

If you have any great mindfulness tips too, let us know! Kat x

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