I recently looked at the 5 ways to wellbeing, particularly the ‘Take Notice’ aspect of it. I’m a big fan of being out in nature. I often find myself when i’m out walking my dog Hiro and catch sight of the sun setting in the early evening, or watching the sun slowly start to rise over the horizon.
We live in such a fast paced world that the opportunity to take notice of what is going on around is lost in a haze of text messages and IP addresses. Research shows that when we take notice of our surroundings, of the little things in life, that we will improve our wellbeing.
It is important to realise that there is so much we can take notice of, if we just pay more attention to the here and now. The moments in our life, in our day can have such a positive impact on ourselves. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee, or putting down your mobile phone long enough to notice the snow drops.
In a little ebook I wrote, Piscatorial Therapy, I wrote about an anglers observations whilst on a pond. I try to take notice when I’m on the pond, or the riverbank. I try to key into the here and now. My focus is quite unstable, although i’m not sure, I wonder if this is part of my ADHD, which for me is several here and nows firing off at the same time. When I’m in the room with a client, I have to ensure the focus is entirely on the client. Although this takes effort, the opportunity to be present with the client is quite incredible. It is a rare opportunity that most people do not get to experience on a daily basis, to become mindful, not only of themselves, but to be mindful of another.
Mindfulness has become quite the buzzword of late. As a meditation exercise, this is something I find incredibly difficult. To be still, for me mindfulness is better served walking, out in the open. Although it doesn’t have to be walking out in the country. we can be mindful in so many ways. We can sit and take notice of our surroundings when having a coffee in a Nero or a Costa (or coffee shops are available). It can be whilst driving into work, taking your foot off the accelerator and noticing the things you miss when racing to work of a morning, or take a different route, or take a bus. You could pay attention more in your lunch break to the conversations.
The NHS have more information here NHS 5 ways – Take Notice
Even being mindful of your lunch can allow you to indulge in a different way. I recently spoke to my friend who told me that he fells he has become so ensnared in his daily routines that he sees little enjoyment even in his hobbies. I suggested maybe changing the order of them might re-ignite his appreciation of these things.
So take your time, slow down and pay more attention to your immediate world. Look, listen and see more. Pause a little more.
As Ferris Bueller once said “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop once in a while and take a look around, you might miss it!”
A Thirsk Counsellor