Mindfulness is the simple technique of paying full attention to your current experiences including what’s happening to you and where you are. It sounds really simple, but many of us become so engrossed with our thoughts that we lose touch with our body and our current experiences. Paying attention to what’s going on with moment-to-moment awareness takes a concerted effort, but doing so brings you many positive benefits, including reducing stress and increasing your enjoyment of your daily life.
What’s in a bucket list?
Many people create lists of things they’d love to do at some point in their life – like travelling the world or doing a triathlon. But then they become so immersed in their daily life, they lose sight of their dreams and they get relegated to the ‘bucket’ that might be explored when they reach retirement.
Instead of making unattainable lists, rather try and live by the saying “The purpose is not to fit more into your life, but to fit more life into your years”. This is where the practice of mindfulness comes into play.
Live life intensely
Do you ever find yourself driving or arriving at a destination, and are not quite sure what route you took – or where the time went because you were thinking about something totally different. To live life intensely, you need to switch off your autopilot and start participating in your daily life. No matter whether you are visiting the city of your dreams or simply sitting in the sun at home reading a book, you will be a lot happier if you start savouring every hour of the day.
Create a day-to-day bucket list
Instead of creating a list of things you might never get to or do, consider bringing mindfulness into your day by creating a daily bucket list for mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a special added thing to do every day. It’s simply cultivating your own innate capacity to be fully present with simple practices like:
- Eating consciously and enjoying the taste and texture of your food, instead of eating on the run
- Looking out the window during the day and recognising the beauty of the clouds and the colour of the sky
- Feeling the texture of the water on your skin as you enjoy your daily shower instead of mentally running through a to-do list of your day.
- Noticing the different sounds around you – from the people talking to the sounds of nature as you walk down the street.
- Paying attention to the people you interact with – make eye contact and notice whether they appear happy or sad.
- Laugh – and notice when you do
Practising a daily mindfulness bucket list will bring you many benefits. It will help centre you and you will find yourself achieving many more things you keep planning to get to on your to-do list – like updating your financial situation or starting the process of financial emigration from South Africa, if you have been living overseas for a few years.
If you are a South African living abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through the financial emigration process, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.