Take notice and relax

The idea behind ‘take notice’ may seem a bit abstract and strange. It’s not about constantly passing comment on everything you do or say or see! Often when we’re busy and stressed, we have so much running around in our minds we lose focus, complicate our priorities and can miss out on enjoyable moments. Studies suggest that by being more aware of what is going on in the present, we worry less about the future and think less about the past. ‘Taking notice’, can also be described as ‘grounding’, or being ‘in the present’.

Taking notice takes practice, however if you make a regular habit of it, you may find that your wellbeing will improve. It’s about taking time out to specifically find enjoyment in the moment and the environment around you. It’s about being curious and remarking on the unusual or beautiful.

It’s often the “little things” that can make a difference. For example, why don’t you consider trying one of the following:

  • Get a plant for your workspace, or somewhere in your home
  • Take a different route on your journey to/from work, school or the shops – notice what’s different
  • Take a camera with you when you’re out and about, take some photos of things that make you smile
  • Keep a diary
  • Eat slowly, savouring the taste when eating your food
  • Think about how your feeling when you brush your teeth in the morning, whether it’s good or bad, that awareness can help prepare you for the day ahead
  • Ask yourself how you’re feeling at three different times in the day
  • Before you go to bed, write down three things that you’re thankful for

There are lots of techniques and places that can teach you calming breathing techniques – great for anxiety, stress and anger management.

  • IAPT Sheffield run a Stress Control course which can teach you ways to manage anxiety, depression and stress, as well as techniques such as breathing and relaxation exercises. The course is free, you’ll be given a workbook and a CD with the exercises on. You can even listen to the CD online: https://stresscontrolaudio.com/home. To book onto the course, visit the website or speak to your GP.
  • Mindfulness is being used by more and more people as a technique to feel better. Put simply, mindfulness is the art of staying in the moment (or the present). It doesn’t take a lot of time, but maybe a bit of practice. A  quick 10 minute exercise every day can help improve your mental health and wellbeing. . It can help you see the world a bit more clearly so you can take more considered decisions and actions to change things in your life. Apps such as Headspace can be really helpful in taking the time to relax as well as the online resource, Free Mindfulness which has several exercises for anyone to use.
  • Getting out and about can have a really positive impact on your wellbeing. In Sheffield we’re lucky to not just have a whole host of parks but the Peak District on our doorstep. If the weather’s bad, there’s lots of museums too.

Breathing Exercises

Here’s a handy gif to help you slow down and re-centre your breathing if you’re feeling a bit anxious!

Image from http://imgur.com/XbH6gP4?r

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