Women’s health advice from Jean Hailes 

Being present in a fast paced world.

We often try to pack a lot into our day; we race around, ticking things off our to-do list so we can rest easy and relax at night.

But what if we took a moment for being, rather than doing? Does it pay to slow down and focus on the present moment?

The benefits of simply ‘being’

‘Being present’ is part of the practice known as mindfulness. It’s a way to focus on what is happening ‘in the now’, and it can have positive effects on your mental health and wellbeing.

Studies show that practising mindfulness may aid in managing stress, anxiety and depression, and can help to make us calmer, happier humans.

“The benefits of being present are that you get to focus on the most important point in time – the present,” explains Jean Hailes clinical psychologist Gillian Needleman.

“The present is the place where you are the most powerful as it is ‘the now’; the ‘live’ moment of time. It is where opportunity resides, where choices exist and where you can focus all your senses to take in the richness of life and what you’re experiencing.

“It is not the past, which can’t be changed, nor is it the future, which has not yet unfolded. The present is the place of being and possibility.”

As Ms Needleman explains, focusing on ‘the now’ also helps to still and quieten a racing mind.

“It can shift the focus from your inner-world – often the place of worry and anxiety – and turns your attention to the actual world around you and your interaction with it for that moment,” she says.

Read more about mindfulness, learn the seven steps to mindful eating.

Visit Jean Hailes to read more.