A quick guide to mindfulness

We look at the simple steps you can take to maintain good mental health

We all know how important it is for our bodies to get enough exercise and eat a balanced diet, but how much effort do you put into looking after your mind? From meditation practices to breathing techniques, here’s what you need to do in order to lead a more mindful life.

Increase your awareness

The aim of mindfulness is to be fully present – to notice what’s going on around us and approach situations and sensations in a calm and considered manner. It’s about not over-reacting and being overwhelmed, and instead channelling a sense of peace. By practicing mindfulness, you are training your brain to take control of your thoughts and emotions. That might sound complicated, but it’s actually very simple to get started and continue tuning into mindfulness throughout your day.

Give your mind over to meditation

Find somewhere to sit or lie down – ideally a place where you will not be disturbed and away from everyday distractions. Focus on each part of your body and make adjustments to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Then close your eyes or gaze downwards without focusing on anything in particular and concentrate on your breath. Mindfulness meditation encourages people to allow their minds to be curious, but try to avoid judging or interrogating the thoughts that come into your head and simply observe them without reacting. If you find your mind wandering, it’s time to bring your attention back to your breath.

Women practicing yoga in a park

Take a deep breath

We might not pay much attention to the way we breathe, but focusing on inhaling and exhaling for just a few minutes can dramatically reduce anxiety levels and making handling any emotional ups and downs so much easier. Wherever you are, begin with a deep breath and really focus on the sensation of air going into and out of your nose. Think about what it feels like to breath and try to avoid letting your mind wander elsewhere. This technique can be practiced anywhere – at work, in the car, as you walk the dog or as part of your exercise regime. From the usual Jumeirah Himalayas’ hot yoga studio in Shanghai to sessions at Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa that overlook the rugged Tramuntana Mountains in Mallorca, our instructors will always incorporate an element of mindful breathing in their routines, and you can at home, too.

The interior of a wellness spa

Mindfulness as an everyday habit

Making mindfulness part of your everyday life is simple once you know how. Take inspiration from Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s spa treatments that place the practice front and centre in treatments such as the Mindfulness Enhancement Body Polish and Body Envelopment, in which guests enjoy a scrub before being wrapped in a mixture of rose, cardamom and sage. Recreate the experience at home by treating yourself to an indulgent bath during which you can rest and reflect on the day. The next time you go for a walk, take a few minutes to notice the sensation of your legs moving and your feet touching the ground and, when getting ready for bed, dim the bedroom lights, avoid looking at screens and take a few minutes to meditate and prepare yourself for sleep. Mindfulness also extends to the way we listen to other people. As someone talks to you, be aware of your reactions as they arise but keep your full attention on the speaker, ensure they feel heard by summarising what they are saying and use friendly, open-ended questions to discover more.

Use your time productively as you #StaySafeWithJumeirah by investing in your own, and others’, mental health.