Get MindfulHappiness In Focus

Happiness: In Focus

12 March 2024

Fancy finding a way to discover a simple yet scientifically supported way to increase happiness in your life? We spoke with Catherine Wells Occupational Therapist to find out her top tips.

As humans, we find joy in actively engaging in activities, and this happiness multiplies when we focus wholeheartedly on what we're doing. Recent research has shed light on the profound link between focus and happiness, revealing that even mundane tasks can become a source of contentment when approached with mindful attention. 

So, let's dive into the art of mindful focus and how it can be a powerful catalyst for increased happiness.

 

 

Focus is a Superpower

Our minds possess a fascinating capacity to ponder the past, plan for the future, and even imagine the improbable. Yet, with this gift comes the challenge of staying grounded in the here and now. It’s important to note that we are human, and ruminating is normal. Though, due to multiple factors (like the device you are probably using now), the average person’s ability to focus has dropped drastically over the last number of years, we are very easily distracted. 

In today’s world this means the ability to focus is a superpower. The good news is that all it takes to improve focus a bit of practice!

When we work on the skill of focus, we are not only better able to focus on the task at hand but we can actively choose where to put our attention in all areas of life, rather than allow external factors to run the show. This means we are more able to focus on our friends when they are talking to us, more able to focus on that tasty morning coffee, and more able to be fully immersed in the special moments in life.

Catherine Wells, Occupational Therapists Top Tips to Increase Happiness:

 

1. Practise Being Present, even in the mundane

In our fast-paced lives, it's easy for our minds to wander aimlessly, losing touch with the present moment. However, when we redirect our focus to the task at hand, our happiness levels rise.  

Whether it's washing the dishes, walking the dog, or brushing our teeth, embracing mindful focus elevates the quality of our experiences and connects us to the joy within each moment.

Engaging in the current activity with undivided focus allows us to immerse ourselves in experiences and find contentment in the simple joys of daily living. So, try to notice the sensations around you – what can you smell, see, feel, taste, and hear? By cultivating mindfulness during daily activities, we can harness the power of the now and begin to find beauty in even the most mundane tasks.

 

2. Don’t shy away from feeling your feelings

Life inevitably brings challenges, but a focused mind strengthens our resilience in the face of adversity. By being fully present with our emotions and experiences, we allow ourselves to process and navigate difficult times with greater clarity and emotional balance, ultimately leading to a deeper sense of happiness despite the circumstances. 

 

3. Pursue activities inline with your passions

Focus serves as the compass that steers us towards our passions and purpose. By making room for our passions in our daily lives, we unlock the door to a fulfilling existence where happiness naturally emerges as a consequence of living authentically and purposefully. 

Losing ourselves in our creative pursuits, engaging activities, exercising, connecting with loved ones or purpose-driven work, we experience a state of flow, where happiness and focus harmoniously coexist.  

When we concentrate our efforts on meaningful endeavours, our minds are more so much more centred, preventing them from wandering aimlessly... and happiness emerges as a natural consequence!

 

4. Living in the here and now

Research affirms the wisdom echoed in many self-help books and spiritual traditions – that living in the "here and now" is fundamental to happiness. 

Mindfulness, a practice that fosters focused awareness, really does help us to do this by training our minds to anchor in the present, allowing us to unlock a little bit more happiness.

For many of us, staying focused is challenging. However, meditation is THE tool to improve our ability to stay present. 

Just 5 minutes of daily meditation has been shown to have a significant positive impact on focus (if you meditate for longer, the effects will be even more effective). As we develop a regular meditation practice, our focus sharpens, and our capacity to be fully engaged in the present moment becomes more natural to us (like muscle memory).

Remember: meditation does not mean getting a perfectly clear mind - it means noticing when your mind is wandering, then drawing it back to the point of focus.

 

5. Find Resources to Support Your Practice

The world of meditation offers a treasure trove of free resources to support your journey toward mindfulness, focus and enhanced happiness. Here are some excellent apps and platforms to get you started:

  • Browse our Inspire Me - Get Mindful Blog where you can find many practical tips and guided mindfulness practices, meditations or breathwork exercises.
  • The Breathing App: A free app that guides you through breathwork meditations, promoting relaxation and focus.
  • Insight Timer: An app with thousands of meditations, catering to practitioners of all levels.
  • Headspace: A fantastic app offering a free beginner's course in mindfulness, as well as a wealth of other resources.
  • YouTube: There is such an range of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises from various teachers and practitioners that you can explore to a mindful or meditative practice that suits you!

 

So this is your reminder of the power of being present. Cultivating more happiness in your life begins with acknowledging the beauty of the present moment, where focus and joy intertwine. By practicing mindfulness we awaken a sense of purpose, meaning, and contentment in our lives.

So, take a moment to pause, breathe, and embrace the here and now. 

 

Get Inspired Further

the positive effects of gratitude

We absolutely know that an effective and consistent, gratitude practice can have huge long term positive effects on mental and physical health. 

benefits of meditation

Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and it has only been in recent years that science has proven what many have always known - meditation works. Even with only a few weeks of a consistent practice, many of the benefits of meditation can be experienced.

Guided Grounding Visualisation Meditation

Can you get to grass, barefoot for about 5 minutes? Then this short meditation is for you. Visualisation Meditations hit differently, especially for those of us that struggle with standard meditation.

lifeline

If you are experiencing distress or are in a mental health crisis please contact
Lifeline on 0808 808 8000

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