While browsing the internet I ran across the site, Action for Happiness, a movement for positive social change-bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone.
One of the topics on the site is: “The 10 Keys to Happier Living”, and I’ve taken one of those topics and posted it here:
Notice the world around You
Ever felt there must be more to life? Well good news, there is! And it’s right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice. Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life – like our walk to work, the way we eat or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future – so we get more out of the day-to-day.
The key to taking notice is ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness is often defined as “the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present”. Two critical elements of mindfulness are that:
- It is intentional (i.e. we are consciously doing it); and
- We are accepting, rather than judging, of what we notice.
In other words, mindfulness is “openly experiencing what is there.” It is about having as full as possible awareness of what is around us – what we can see, hear, touch and taste. And what is happening inside – our thoughts and feelings. Crucially it is about observing all this but not getting caught up in thinking and worrying about what we are observing. It then gives us more control of what we decide to give our attention to.
A growing number of scientific studies are showing the benefits of mindfulness in many aspects of our lives including our physical and mental well-being, our relationships and our performance at school and at work. And it appears to have benefits for everyone, from children through to the elderly. One researcher even suggests that once learned, mindfulness has a ‘transmitting’ quality. Its benefits increase over time and with practice and can spread to many areas of our daily lives.
Yet mindfulness is something that, in today’s busy, multi-tasking world, few of us do naturally – but it’s something everyone can learn and benefit from. It’s simple, yet can feel hard until you learn how. That’s why it takes practice.
To read the complete article and to find more information on the action for happiness movement…go to: actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living
*Image taken with my converted (infrared) camera.