Taking notice: becoming okay with now
Take Notice is the ‘way’ I constantly put into practice to reduce the tension that we experience, either consciously or unconsciously, every day. When we’re stressed, it may be because we’re unsatisfied with our present. We might start thinking about our ideals rather than showing any gratitude for where we are now and being ‘okay’ with it. Having aspirations is great but we don’t want to put more pressure on ourselves by attacking our current being. Here’s what I actively do to reduce tension by staying present in the moment.
Walking without music
Why do we always need listen to music when we’re walking? I know I do this because I want to drown out the loud noises in my surroundings. Everything can seem a bit frantic without music and it just felt like it was adding to my stress. But when you take out your headphones, you begin to accept the noise, acknowledge your surroundings and focus on what you’re doing. This mindfulness technique has allowed me to ground myself in the reality that I’m in, giving myself time to accept my emotions, acknowledging what my current thoughts are and narrow down my thinking and decision process.
Taking pictures of the scenery
Do you ever associate a smell, a taste, or a location to a good memory? Well, photos allow me to make that association and remember things more clearly. These photos also have a further benefit of helping me be present in that precise moment too.
I never really bothered with photos because I always felt like I was in too much of a rush, meaning I didn’t really think about taking a photo unless it was a selfie with some friends. However, there was an instance when there was a bit of silence during my birthday and I was outside sitting down with my friend on the edge of the lake at Hyde Park in London. The sun was setting beautifully so I took a picture of it. That picture is now a trigger for this memory and lets me reminisce on the past. It’s a stress reliever during difficult times and I don’t even need a high-class camera for it as I just use my phone. I even take videos sometimes because Manchester is breath-taking, you just need to make the time to divert from your typical routine to go out and explore it.
Taking a picture of scenery encourages you to pause and take notice of what’s going on around you. Here’s a few photos that I took on days that I realised were quite important to me:
Walking for the sake of walking
Walking is literally the best hobby I’ve ever taken on (when it’s not raining, that is). I usually walk to discover and explore but because I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed recently, I just walk for the sake of walking. What this means is that I am pleasantly walking to anywhere I feel like going. I do this when I am feeling overwhelmed by everything. I tend to self-reflect during my walks when I find a place to sit but as I am walking I allow for my mind to stay clear, accepting what’s going on around me and seeing them as part of my journey rather than a distraction during my journey.
Written by Wellbeing Champion, Ester Demideh