With each new year comes my resolution to look after both my well-being and our planet a little better. The practice of mindfulness, where we make time to notice and appreciate the present moment and our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in that moment, is a growing trend when it comes to improving our mental health.
The practice can be expanded and applied to many areas of our lifestyle, from what we buy to how we travel. It’s all about being aware of our surroundings and our choices.
Mindfulness and mindful living is a growing trend in our urban areas.
I’ve been noticing an increase in mindful behaviors among those living in our cities – from the growing popularity of yoga and meditation classes to new businesses popping up that cater to our desire to be healthy and socially conscious. Vegan eateries, places where you can buy unpacked produce and car-sharing platforms are all on the rise.
But is this growing trend a reaction to the fast pace of city life or something more widespread? Do the large numbers of people living in our cities make mindfulness more essential or just more visible?
Urban mindfulness has its challenges.
The noise, the distractions, our busy lives: they all contribute to unhealthy stress levels and an over-active mind. Perhaps this is why urbanites are embracing mindfulness so wholeheartedly. We need to learn to slow down, breathe and live in the moment – even amongst the sights and sounds of city living.
The beauty of mindfulness is that it can happen anywhere, whether you’re on the train, on your lunch break or waiting in line. We can all find those moments of inner peace and when we commit to looking for them, we find ourselves happier, healthier and more productive.
Urban or rural – mindfulness can happen anywhere at anytime.
It seems that mindfulness is also being embraced in rural areas, although we may not have seen it in the press as much. I’ve been reading about some really interesting initiatives that are introducing new socially aware ways of living. Eco villages, such as Sieben Linden in Germany, are being established, giving communities a chance for an alternative, more deliberate way of life – in beautiful surroundings!
Farms are producing organic produce and sell it directly to consumers, thus cutting down on waste and packaging. We’re even seeing energy-efficient villages that meet all of their residents’ power and heating needs through clean renewable energy.
There are small changes we can all make to benefit our minds, our bodies and our planet no matter where we live. Urban or rural, it makes no difference – and I for one hope to see the trend for mindful living go from strength to strength.