Cast stress aside and be mindful of the joyful things

Wrapping gifts can be relaxing ' honestly
Wrapping gifts can be relaxing ' honestly
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Mindfulness has become a bit of a ‘buzz’ word in the world of wellbeing lately.

From yoga gurus to meditation masters, all the experts are evangelising about how to improve your mental and physical state and lower stress by learning to be more present and in the moment and to fully engage your senses; that is, to be more ‘mindful’.

‘Being more mindful is almost too easy,’ says Steven Tromans, a hypnotherapy and NLP expert and founder of Justbewell (justbewell.com).

‘All you need to do is become aware of what is going on through your senses. So when you’re really engaged in the activity, allow your mind to go quieter and then really use your eyes to see what’s going on around you.

‘Notice the colours, the shapes, the 3D-ness of the environment. Do this for a while and then switch awareness to another sense.

Here are some winter activities to help you focus and enjoy life:
Ice skating 
There’s something magically movie-like about winter ice-rinks.

Just picture yourself gracefully gliding around the rink, hand in hand with your friend or beloved, laughing merrily at the sheer joy of it,

Now go and do it! Okay, so in reality it’s probably going to be a far clumsier scene, but it’s a great chance to reconnect with your inner child and have some festive fun. 
Baking 
Fans of baking have long sung its praises as a rewarding and stress-relieving pastime, and in today’s ‘hectic’ world, retreating to the peaceful haven of the kitchen, pummelling your frustrations into a ball of dough or batter has never been so appealing.

Savour the opportunity to forget whatever else is going on in the world and engage your senses in the process – this is what mindfulness is all about
Gift wrapping
There’s no reason why this chore can’t be turned into an enjoyable event and a chance to unwind. It’s all about making an occasion of it.

First of all, stop worrying about whether you’ve spent enough or too much.

Set aside an afternoon or evening for your wrapping. Light a scented candle, pour yourself a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate and give the job in hand your full attention.