10 tips for mindfulness and positivity

Originally published in early 2019, this article pre-dates COVID but hopefully gives some useful advice.

I am reposting some earlier blogs from my old website as I couldn't transfer them.

I’m thrilled to have had an article published in EOS Magazine this quarter where I explore the benefits of using a Canon 100mm macro lens for nature photography and the practice of mindfulness.

Here I thought I’d expand on the article with some principles which help me remain positive and conscious of mindfulness.

1. Go outside. Anywhere. Breathe fresh air. Everything feels different in fresh air.

2. Breathe. Learn to breathe, more deeply and slowly. Then breathe that fresh air again.

3. You are free. Remember to enjoy that freedom. Don’t stay in any situation where you feel trapped. Walk away. Physically if you can. Cross the road. Leave the party. That feeling of freedom is worth any social face you might save by allowing anger or desperation to eat away at your insides. Someone else’s idea of fun doesn’t have to be yours and comparing yourself to others is a fool’s mission.

4. Learn what really feeds your spirit. Then carve time for it and don’t feel guilty about that. It is anything that takes you out of yourself and the world. Reading, walking, movies, craft, sport, music, family time – anything that makes you forget time and enriches you – these are worth their weight in gold and yet the first things we drop when life gets too much.

5. Exercise. Do it for your brain, not just your body. It helps. Promise.

6. Be grateful. Whatever you can be grateful for, acknowledge it. In writing, to another person or inwardly. Count your blessings and take time to do so regularly.

7. Remember that everything passes. The worst that can happen today is not as bad as things that you have already survived in your past.

8. Switch off news notifications on your phone. They are going to be about Brexit or Trump. You already know how bad that is. This particularly applies when you are out in nature. Leave the world behind.

9. Read Matt Haig. He is erudite and wise. ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ and ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ are life-saving works.

10. Make your own list and see what advice you’d offer yourself and others. Then start afresh each day, trying to stick to it but being very gentle with yourself when you don’t!

For me, nature and landscape photography provides space to breathe, takes me outside and offers me a true feeling of freedom. There is definitely a different way of looking at the world if you choose to take it.

Please leave your tips for mindfulness and positivity below, I’d love to hear from you.