MINDFULNESS – Tips for the beach!

What is MINDFULNESS & How does it work?

Tips to practice it at the Beach!


 What does Mindfulness mean?

Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to things as they are.

– Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn


Mindfulness training provides us with new skills that allow us to manage what goes on in our minds. It allows us to develop abilities that help us reduce self-criticism and negative emotions, and increase our level and control of attention. To be present. To be aware of what we do while we do it.

As human beings we have the tendency to be more negative, to pay more attention to the bad things rather than the good things. Mindfulness can help us distribute our attention in a more balanced way between all aspects of our lives. To keep our eyes open to the ¨smaller¨ beauties and pleasures of the world. To be able to respond in a judicious and compassionate manner to the people around us as well as to ourselves.

Through Mindfulness we discover another way of knowing. We begin to listen to a calmer and wiser voice that is normally suffocated by the screams of the (over)thinking mind. In this direct relationship with a present situation, we are simply aware of our experience in the moment: knowledge resides in our own consciousness.


Being mindful is about having an active state of mind focused on the now. This means we consciously choose to shift out of the autopilot, and instead choose to focus on the present moment.

Shifting out of autopilot

Autopilot is a mechanism that we develop where we can do things automatically without thinking every step of the process. The clearest example is driving. After learning how to drive, we usually do it automatically. Another example is our morning ritual or the one that we do before going to sleep: washing our face, brushing our teeth etc. Haven´t you ever not remembered whether you had just washed your teeth or not? Where you had left your keys? What you were thinking about whilst taking a shower?  With autopilot, our minds are subject to the action-oriented mode, working in the background without us being aware of it, without our consent and without us having decided so. Once we have lost control of our minds, we can easily slide into the spiral of rumination that triggers negative feelings. Worrying becomes anxiety, and the pressure of high expectations makes us feel even more stressed and exhausted. Living in autopilot mode means risking getting hooked on some of these negative mental states. It can distance us from many positive things in life.   

Mindfulness offers us a way to be free of the autopilot.

How do we do that? By paying attention to:

  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Temperature

MINDFULNESS - Tips for the beach! 1

SO…You´re at the beach, enjoying your holidays, finally relaxing and disconnecting after months of hard work.

How to use Mindfulness at the beach:


1. Breathe! Close your eyes and focus on your breath, coming in through the nose and out through the mouth. Follow the breath as it goes in, slightly colder tan when it comes out. Notice the Little pause that occurs after you inhale just before you exhale. Stay with your breath for a while.

2. What do you see? Open your eyes for a bit and really see what´s around you. The sea. Notice how it moves, how the waves come and go, if there´s any foam or not, if they go in the same direction, what colours are there, if the water looks like it has little diamonds on its surface from the sun´s reflection. What´s the sky like? What´s the sand like? Do you see the shadows forming from the tiny sand dunes? Do you see any trees? Notice the colour of the trees, the sun´s rays gently piercing through small gaps of the tree leaves, how tall they are, the shadows forming from the leaves and the branches…See where I´m getting at?

3. Close your eyes, and focus on what smells your nose recognises. Can you smell the water? Do you smell food? Sun cream? Try to distinguish one smell from another.

4. What do you hear? There are so many sounds present in every moment of our lives that we don´t normally pay attention to. Even when it seems it´s so quiet. Do you hear any birds flying around? Can you hear the air going through the tree branches? The waves. People talking, walking, moving around. You don´t have to interpret the sounds. Try to just be receptive to them as sounds waves, vibrations, different tones that are reaching your ears.

5. Touch everything around you! Touch the sand, what does it feel like? Do you like it or do you hate it? Explore that. Does it feel like something you´ve felt before? What´s it´s temperature? Touch your body. Feel the air touching your body. How does it feel? Touch different textures, and just notice what´s there. Whether you like it or not, it´s ok, you don´t have to like it. What does it feel not to like it?

6. Taste the water, taste food, taste your skin. What does it taste like? Is it salty? Maybe not. Does it remind you of anything? Allow yourself to experience without expecting anything, just because it´s how you think it will be. Explore as if it´s the first time you´re doing it.

7. Hot or cold? Where do you feel it in your body? Does your whole body feel warm? Maybe parts of it have a different temperature. What changes when you´re under the sun or the shade? Where do you most notice it?

What emotions do all these experiences bring up?

What thoughts go through your mind?

Where do you feel these emotions? Allow yourself to feel them. They´re there for a reason. They need to be recognised, they need attention for a while, and then they´ll go. Give them this attention. It´s ok that they´re there. Just feel them, even if they´re unpleasant.

Don´t try to change your thoughts, nor do you have to get stuck on any of them. Watch the thoughts go by like clouds going by in the sky. They come, and they go.

I have news for you. If you´ve done all this, or even a tiny bit of it, you´ve just meditated! You´ve been connected to the present for a while. You´ve not allowed your mind to take over and take you where it pleases (this is what minds do!).

So well done! This takes practice. If you can just try to do this for a few minutes everyday. You will probably feel a lot better!


Daphne Christofides

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