How to be a mindful expat this March

Action for Happiness, an internationally recognised charity, is calling on as many people as possible to have a “mindful March”. Here’s how to achieve mindfulness at home or at work this month…

Yes, it’s Monday and you’re probably back at your desk … But take a moment right now, however busy it is around you, to think about what it’s like to be fully aware – to feel silence and stillness. Check what each of your senses are experiencing: What are you touching? Are there any smells around you? What can you see? What can you hear?

Being in the present moment, being mindful is what’s behind ‘Mindfulness’. Mindfulness involves focusing your mind on the present. To be mindful is to be aware of your thoughts and actions in the present, without being judgmental. Mindfulness is a very simple type of meditation that is similar in many ways to Zen and Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness was first taught in the East by Buddha over 2500 years ago; Buddha’s teachings didn’t reach the West much before the 1930s and didn’t move into the mainstream until the 1960s. Luckily, it’s not necessary to become a Buddhist to benefit from mindfulness.

International, best-selling author (Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life), meditation teacher and scientist, Jon Kabat-Zinn believes that practicing mindfulness can bring profound healing and transformation to your life. Bringing mindfulness to mainstream society is at the core of Kabat-Zinn’s life work. Take a look at this wonderful, YouTube video of Kabat-Zinn leading a session on Mindfulness at Google’s U.S. campus. It’s an informative, insightful, intelligent commentary and also funny in parts.

Action for Happiness is a movement, with the Dalai Lama as patron, that is dedicated to “building a happier and more caring society”.

“We bring together like-minded people from all walks of life and help them take practical action, drawing on the latest scientific research. We are backed by leading experts from diverse fields including psychology, education, economics and social innovation.”

Each month Action for Happiness publishes a calendar of little, achievable things that anyone can do, which are related to the month’s theme. The Mindful March calendar is available in 9 languages. The complete March calendar is below, and you can download and print it off here.

Mindful March’s 31 little things to do

Today’s “little thing” is “Cultivate a feeling of loving-kindness towards others today”, tomorrow’s is “Stop, breathe, and just notice. Repeat regularly during the day.”

And, if you are at work, why not try to instill some happiness at your workplace. As we all know a happy employee is a more productive employee! Action for Happiness has lots of resources to help employers and employees create a happy work environment.

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