As a philosophy postgraduate, I spend hours each day reflecting on the precise details of philosophical arguments. This is just one of the many ways that students can take notice. Taking notice, or reflecting, involves focusing our attention on ourselves and the world around us. I would like to consider the variety of ways in which we can take notice, and be more mindful, in order to boost, or maintain, our wellbeing.

We can take notice of ourselves and the bodily sensations we experience. We have a variety of different bodily sensations, including, but not limited to the senses. One way to focus on wellbeing is to focus on our experience of one of these senses e.g. touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, hearing. We can take notice of the intoxicating aroma of a candle, the sweet taste of a piece of fruit, or seeing rich, vivid colours. However, bodily sensations are not limited to the senses. We can also take notice of bodily sensations such as the physical arousal experienced after exercise, or the feeling of satiety after eating a meal.

We can also take notice of ourselves by considering our thoughts and feelings. One way to do this is to write a list of goals. These can be daily, weekly, or monthly goals, and can be simple like ‘Go for a ten-minute walk’, or ‘Water the plants’. You do not need to write a long list to feel like you have spent your time well. At the beginning of each day, write what you would like to achieve and at the end of the day, look at the list and tick off what you have done. This allows you to take notice of your thoughts and feelings. It is also a great way to feel a sense of satisfaction for what you have done.

We can take notice of the world around us by considering the kindness in humanity, the beauty in nature, or the complexity of the universe. One way to take notice of these things is to go outside and experience the world. You can go to the local park, walk down the city high street, or voyage to somewhere new and unknown. If you want to take notice without stepping outside, documentaries are a great way to reflect on the world around us. Documentaries are informative and can cover any aspect of life, from David Attenborough on animals, to Brian Cox on the mysteries of the universe.

Taking notice is important because it: allows us to ground ourselves in the here and now; make us appreciate what we haven’t considered before; and reflect on the future and our place in the world.

By Charlotte Guest