By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna
You may have heard about mindfulness meditation before. But do you understand how to apply it to your expat life?
Let’s take a look at this healthy living practice that is not just for monks and yogis.
Mindfulness is the art of being present, of being exactly where you are right now, using all five senses to enjoy or just sit with your current, immediate experience.
‘Be here now’ is another way to explain it, meaning don’t be running through your chores or shopping list while you are sitting in meditation (or even doing something else!)
Now, try to think about how you live your life here in the Lion City. What’s going on? Work, kids, international or local schools, relationships, dealing with a new living space, learning to get around a new city, social events, vacations, bills, updating DP or EP passes, dealing with extreme heat and rain, etc.… The point is to experience each of these things IN THE MOMENT.
Whether or not you sit in meditation, these are key things to focus on to live mindfully here in Singapore.
When it’s time to spend time with your kids, be there, not Facebooking.
When you are at work, focus on your job tasks and try doing things one at a time.
When you are at a party, enjoy your friends, don’t worry about booking home leave or the babysitter or even how you’re going to get a cab home.
When you are exercising, enjoy your surroundings and connect with how you feel rather than blasting Imagine Dragons on your iPod to distract yourself from your run.
Point is, don’t allow yourself to be distracted from exactly what you are doing right now.
Mindfulness can help you feel good about where you are in life because you are taking the time to be there and experience it.
More health care professionals are saying this mental exercise and mindset promotes healthier living and better responses to stress. Even scientists are coming up with research that says the art of multi-tasking is no longer better than being in the moment and just doing one thing at a time.
So evaluate where you are in your mindset and see if mindfulness may help you live better.
If you’re interested in learning more in-depth mindfulness techniques, a new book, Engaged Mindfulness, is out from Singapore-based meditation expert Toby Ouvry, who runs meditation sessions and workshops through Integral Meditation Asia. It gives practical tips and exercises in mindfulness, such as “mindful concentration in an age of distraction” and “establishing your basic mindful flow state” and how to apply it to other parts of your life.
The book is selling for $8 if you attend a free upcoming book talk, which are listed on the Integral Meditation Asia website. (The next one is Saturday afternoon, 17th September, 2-3pm at Basic Essence, 501 Bukit Timah Road #04-04 Cluny Court Singapore 259760.)
You can also order the book through the website for $10.
About Andrea McKenna
Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.