Five ways to Wellbeing – Take notice, me aro tonu

Remember the simple things that give you joy – me aro tonu ki ngā mea māmā noa i ngākau harikoa ai koe.

Paying more attention to the present moment, to our thoughts and feelings and to the world around us boosts our wellbeing. It helps us to behave in ways that make us feel good about ourselves – ways that are consistent with our values and who we want to be. Taking notice can include gratitude, forgiveness, reflection and building a life that is meaningful to you.

Be curious and catch sight of the beautiful, remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Try savouring the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

  • Learn useful techniques for becoming more aware of life as it is happening. Stop for a while; take 10 mindful breaths in and out, calming the body and mind, then simply rest where you are noticing everything that is going on around you. This practice incorporates four keys aspects of mindfulness training: Stopping – Calming – Resting – Noticing. Together, these four steps are innately healing. Use an everyday environmental cue (the phone ringing, email alert etc) as a reminder to pause and breathe for three breath cycles, and take notice of the world around you.
  • Learn yoga or meditation.
  • Have a mirimiri/massage to sooth and relax your body.
  • Be mindful of the first mouthful of food you eat. See if you can really pay attention to all the flavours and textures of the food, the act of chewing and the act of swallowing.
  • Take the opportunity to sit quietly in a busy place like an airport or a mall and notice the interactions between people.
  • Try to get out of your work environment during breaks. Go for a walk into a nearby park, being mindful of your breathing, your footsteps and the environment around you.
  • Climb your maunga, swim in your awa or moana and kōrero karakia with tangaroa.
  • Spend time gardening or create a green space in your home or office where you could grow a few small plants, such as herbs, on a windowsill.
  • Take notice of the night sky. Learn the difference phases of the moon so you can take notice of the phase it is in and watch the stars change throughout the year.
  • Go for a bushwalk. Listen to the birds sing, and try to take notice of the different plant and animal species around you.
  • Practise gratitude; keep a diary by writing down three things for which you are grateful on a daily or weekly basis. Take the time to give a special thank you to people who support you everyday.
  • At the end of the day ask friends, family or colleagues what the best thing was about their day and listen with interest when they respond.
  • Begin meetings with a karakia/prayer or short reflection (eg, an inspiring quote) followed by a brief silent period, allowing people to breathe mindfully and bring their full attention into the room. End in a similar fashion.
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