Monday - Friday 9am - 6:30pm

Five Ways: Take Notice

A how-to guide

Practical guidance on how to take notice through day-to-day activities. 

Taking Notice Inwardly: Learning to Meditate

Mindfulness meditation is a great way to tune into to our thoughts, feelings and senses. Meditation might sound like a pastime reserved for Buddhist monks, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! It’s just another word for being present.

How to meditate

Sit in a comfortable position with your back upright and feet firmly on the floor. Close your eyes and allow your attention to come to your breath. In, out, in, out. Just notice it, no trying to change anything. Your breath becomes your ‘anchor’ to the present, and every time you find your mind drifting – which it definitely will! – just notice that and bring your awareness back to the breath. You could also use a different anchor such as the sensation of your feet connecting with the floor. Allow thoughts and feelings to come and go: not urging them to go away or focussing too hard on them, but just letting them pass.

Give it a try and see how you feel. It might feel relaxing or enjoyable, it might not. It doesn’t matter; the main thing is to just be present and let it be whatever it is. Be patient, and you’ll soon start to see the benefits, even if some of your meditation sessions feel frustrating or pointless!

Taking Notice Outwardly: Mindfulness in Daily Life

Meditating as descried above might feel quite intense, or perhaps you feel you’re just too distracted for it at this time. The good news is, you can bring meditation into day-to-day life!

Getting Connected

A nice way to get tuned into the present is by connecting with our senses. Having something more solid to pay attention to than thoughts, feelings or breathing can be helpful. If you’re able to go for a walk or a mooch about in the garden, really pay attention to the feelings in your feet as you walk. Look around you and simply notice what you see. If you’re indoors, look out of the window and notice how many different colours and shapes you can see. Try mindful eating: really tune into each of your senses as you go through your meal. Notice the colours, smell, tastes and textures; put your fork down between each mouthful to really experience the eating before grabbing for the next bite.

Tea meditation

You could also try a ‘tea meditation’: brew up a lovely cuppa (green tea is good!), sit in a comfortable upright position and work your way slowly through the senses. Look at the cup; what do you notice? Feel the sensation of it in your hands. Lift it to your nose and tune into the sense of smell. Sip the tea slowly, savouring both the taste and sensations of this. Even try bringing the cup to your ear, you might find you can hear the sea in it! Spend a few minutes with each of the senses and let yourself get lost in them.

Get Crafty

Arts and crafts are another great way to take notice and get connected. The sense of ‘flow’ we get when engrossed in a task is really good for us. Grab some paints, a colouring book, weaving papers or any other crafty stuff, and just get into it. Pay attention to what you’re doing and allow everything else to slip away. This could be a great way to pass the time if you’re finding yourself indoors more than usual, and you may get some lovely pieces of art out of it too!

Top Tips:

  • Download the Insight Timer app: this offers loads of guided meditations, talks, sleep audios and calming music. You can also set up a custom timer with reminder bells and optional ambient sounds.
  • Try micro-meditations: at any moment, take a few seconds to reconnect with the here and now. A few ways of doing this are:
    • The ABC of mindfulness: Stop, Acknowledge your thoughts/feelings, notice your Breath, Connect with your senses.
    • Here and now: Take a few slow, deep breaths, silently saying to yourself ‘here’ on the in-breath and ‘now’ on the out-breath.
    • Grounding energy: As you breathe in, imagine you’re drawing energy from the earth through your feet and giving energy back as you breathe out.
  • Daily tasks: Turn chores into a wellbeing-booster! Use brushing your teeth, making dinner, washing up and other chores or daily tasks as a chance to Take Notice.
  • Use your imagination: When meditating, visualise your thoughts as clouds passing in the sky or trains through a station. Imagine your mind is the sky: vast enough to hold and accept everything without judging it as good or bad. 

Looking for more?

There are loads of guided mindfulness meditation audios out there, as any search engine will quickly tell you. If you’d like to take the next step and go on a mindfulness course, check out the information provided by Mind on different options.

Five Guided meditations to try

How are you taking care of your wellbeing?

Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration to take care of your wellbeing. Get in touch or register with us to access free advice and coaching to LiveWell.

MORE TIPS

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

Your Favourites?

or register, to favourite activities that you want to try.

Welcome!

Is this the first time that you've used our services, or have you already registered with us? To allow us to best serve you, please confirm whether you're new to LiveWell Dorset, or if you've spoken to us before and may have an existing account.

Welcome back, it's good to hear from you again!

To speak to one of our dedicated team and get the help you require please request a call back. All call backs from this service are free of charge to both landlines and mobile.

Request a Call Back

Do you provide your consent to share your information with the LiveWell Dorset team – part of Public Health Dorset ?

When you register with LiveWell Dorset, we ask you some questions about you and your health (how much you smoke, how active you are, how much you drink and how much you weigh). We store that information and use it to shape our service offer to you – such as the advice we give or the extra services we connect you to. The only people who will see this information will be those involved in the delivery of the service and management of the data. If you would like to use extra services (such as slimming clubs and pharmacies) we have to share this information with them. For us to be able to put you in touch with these services, we must have your consent to share that information with the service (we’ll ask for that later, when if you sign up for extra services).

Before we can sign you up any further, we need to know:

  • You're happy for your personal information to be shared with LiveWell Dorset.
  • You understand what information may be shared and why, and that at times, our contact to you may be supported by technology partners, who have the same data protection standards and safeguards as we do
  • You acknowledge that you can withdraw your consent at any time by informing LiveWell Dorset.
  • You understand that if you do not give consent or withdraw consent then it could be difficult for us to connect you some of the services we offer.

If you require any more information to help you make your choice then please contact the LiveWell Dorset team on 0800 840 1628. All telephone conversations at LiveWell Dorset are recorded for quality and training purposes, and stored whilst you are registered as active within the service.

Yes I consent

Sorry we can't continue at the moment

Unfortunately we need your permission to store your personal information to help us to assess the best support we could provide or signpost you to. If at any stage you change your mind and are happy to provide your personal information please come back and visit us again.