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19 January 2021
5 Minutes of Mindfulness in a Chair
When you’re feeling stressed or low, an increasing number of studies show that practising mindfulness can offer you some respite from your worries and any difficult thoughts.
You can also boost your effectiveness and creativity, and there are some great health benefits too. You’ve probably heard this term being bandied about a lot, but what does ‘being mindful’ actually mean?
We get the lowdown on this brain-training activity, as well as sharing a quick 5-minute mindfulness exercise you can do from the comfort of your own armchair at home.
Mindfulness is about being in the present moment.
It’s about being aware of your environment and bringing yourself back to your surroundings when your mind is caught up with busy or negative thoughts.
Practising mindfulness techniques will help you when you’re feeling anxious, stressed and overwhelmed by life, preventing burnout, fatigue and mental health conditions. You can train your brain to let go of daily distractions and pressures.
There are many ways we can be mindful in our everyday lives.
When you eat your evening meal, take time to savour your food by chewing slowly. This is also good for your digestion system and weight loss too, as slow eaters tend to eat less.
You can be mindful when you take a quick break to make a hot cuppa. Simply take some deep breaths, stretch and relax your shoulders, and allow your mind to wander while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
If you’re at your desk and suddenly feel overwhelmed by your workload, stop for a moment and gaze out of the window. Become aware of what you are seeing and notice any details.
As well as giving you a short break away from your computer screen, which will help you reduce eye strain and headaches, you may feel much more productive on your return.
Another way to enjoy mindfulness is called ‘active listening’. You could apply this to a work situation or an important family matter, where you focus on what someone is saying and the way they are saying it.
For example, look at their body language and maintain eye contact. If you practice active listening regularly, you will become more mindful when conversing, leading to better communication with others, and in work situations with your team.
Take some time away from your desk or busy life, find a comfortable armchair, and follow these simple steps:
Close your eyes.
Allow your arms and legs to relax, making sure your feet are flat on the floor.
Take some deep breaths; inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 4.
Become aware of your armchair, and how the upholstery and padding feels to you.
Listen to the noises around you. You might hear traffic or the birds singing outside.
Become aware of your feet. Imagine they are rooted to the earth like a tree.
When you feel ready, bring your breathing back to normal and open your eyes.
You can also find many mindfulness meditations online that involve focusing on a tactile object. For example, exploring a strawberry using your senses - touch, taste and smell. By paying close attention to an object, you will free your mind from unwanted, busy thoughts.
If your home is too noisy or busy, then you could go outdoors in your garden or for a nature walk.
Immerse yourself in your surroundings - listen to the birds, look at the trees, plants and sky. By observing every detail of your environment, your mind will become less busy and you will feel more relaxed.
Before you settle into your chair for your five minutes of mindfulness, make sure you are comfortable.
A cosy, fabric-covered armchair is likely to prove more practical, as there will be less noise if you need to move around. Also, fabric upholstery will help your body to stay at an optimum temperature. So, you’ll always feel comfy, whether it’s rainy or sunny outside.
Comfort goes hand in hand with relaxation, so why not give your body and brain a rest?
If you’re looking for a comfortable chair to spend some mindful moments, why not check out our vast range at Furniture Online? Our friendly customer service team are always happy to help with any queries. Contact us by using our online web chat tool.