You may have noticed that Kyushi Skincare has been coined ‘Mindful Skincare’ which I love. I love the idea that you can nourish your external along with the inner workings of the mind.
Mindfulness has been a bit of a buzzword for a few years now and whilst its been thrown around as something we should all be practicing you may be wondering what actually is it, and how do we do it?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindful.org states that the definition is:
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.
I dont know about you but I often find myself in a state of overwhelm, not being able to focus on the present moment. Always thinking about the long list of things to tick off, and focusing on what I haven’t achieved rather than what I have.
We seem to have lost the ability to be still, to allow ourselves not to fill our time with activities. There is such success and joy to be found in doing nothing. Just allowing your mind to be still, your body to relax and do nothing productive. This doesn’t have to mean sitting on a meditation cushion trying to silence your thoughts. It can be binge watching Emily in Paris on Netflix (guilty) or reading a book you’ve been dying to read. Its ok to break the cycle of productivity, without feeling guilty. I read that mindfulness is an antidote for perfectionism and loved this idea.
It may feel a bit woo woo and almost too simple, but there is actual evidence to support that we should make this a daily practice.
In one key study, researchers found that volunteers who took an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program had a far greater ability to focus on their sensations than a control group that hadn’t done the training. Another study at the University of Wisconsin showed that only 10 minutes of breath-counting helped offset the damaging effects on concentration of heavy-duty multitasking. Still another study, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, revealed that merely eight minutes of mindfulness practice improved concentration and reduced mind-wandering. The researchers also found that mindfulness had a dramatic effect on working memory—the facility we have to manipulate stored information in order to reason and make decisions in a timely manner. One group of students that underwent a two-week course in mindfulness training boosted their scores on their GREs—the graduate school entrance exams—by more than 30%. Mindful.org
How Do We Practice Mindfulness?
The Stop Method
- S Stands for Stop
Stop what you are doing, and focus your attention on your surroundings, how you feel, tune into your senses, what do you see, hear, smell, taste and touch.
- T stands for take a deep breath
Take a deep breath in through the nose focusing on the sensation of air slowly filling the lungs from the bottom all the way to the top. Feel your belly rise and slowly release. You can repeat this 5 times.
- O Stands for Observe
Observe how youre feeling after this deep breath come back to your senses. You can practice a body scan here from your feet all the way to the top of your head, noticing how you feel both emotionally and physically.
- P Stands for Proceed
Proceed with whatever you were doing, but approach it with this new stillness and kindness for yourself, and bring this mindful approach into your day.
I use this method in the Kyushi ritual, using the power of essential oils to nourish the mind and body. You can learn about the Kyushi ritual here. As the hours of daylight shorten as we come into winter here in the UK I rely more and more on the Kyushi Orange and Neroli face oil to lift my spirits, soothing any stress and anxiety in the morning. Its a great morning practice if you find you suffer from seasonal affective disorder too.
I’m a big fan off the app headspace its a great accessible no frills meditation & mindfulness app. You can try a free mindfulness video here
Finally if you want to read more around this topic here is a great article with some fabulous sounding books I’ve also added to my own reading list.