Take Notice is about rooting oneself in the present,
making it less likely that you dwell upon the unchangeable past and unknowable
It is about intentionally paying attention to the world
around you and what you’re feeling. It’s about engaging more with your
behaviours, being curious and playful with your experiences and taking some
time to reflect on them.
Especially when we feel busy or stressed, it is easy to feel
distracted and not pay attention. We can become ‘mindless’, going about our day
without noticing our experiences, feeling somewhat disassociated and
disconnected from them. This isn’t good for us.
Take Notice is about having an awareness of sensations,
thoughts, and feelings, a process known to enhance wellbeing. This ‘mindful’
approach leads to more positive mental states, self-regulated behaviours, and
heightened self-knowledge. It can reduce worry, anxiety and depression. This
awareness can also help you to act in accordance with your needs, values, and
Keep in mind that Take Notice is a skill you can practice
and develop. If it’s a way of being that is unfamiliar to you, be patient. Whenever
you can, try to remind yourself to ‘take notice’. Pause and notice any
sensations or thoughts or feelings that are present. What can you notice now,
even as you read this? What thoughts are with you? How would you describe them?
You can also recruit some or all your five basic senses: touch; sight, hearing;
smell; and taste. Be curious. Pay attention and see what comes up. And look to
be accepting of whatever it is you notice. Try to avoid labelling or passing
judgement on what you’re experiencing; even if there is an uncomfortable
thought or emotion present, noticing and then accepting it is going to be
Taking notice is also about finding the meaning in
everything we do. Truly meaningful actions are likely to be more enjoyable and
even more effective.
So what does Taking Notice look like in practice? If you’re
doing an activity, for example walking, you can start by noticing how your body
feels. Are there any sensations? Any aches or pains? Are you feeling energetic?
If you’re active outdoors, what can you hear? Smell? See? If you are going for
a run, you might spend a few moments noticing how you’re feeling as you get
ready. How does your clothing feel? How does your body feel when you start
moving? Are you feeling tired? How are your legs today? Light? Heavy? Is there
any soreness? And what’s the weather like? How does the rain feel? The sun? Can
you see the horizon? Is anyone else around? Try to notice the internal and
Taking notice can give you some respite from feeling busy
and distracted and give your wellbeing a boost. It’s another great addition to
your self-care routine, and something to practice daily, as often as possible.
If you’d like to learn about and practice being more mindful,
apps like Headspace and Calm are packed with mindfulness tools that can help
you create life-changing habits to support your wellbeing, helping you relax
your mind, improve focus, and even get better sleep. Alternatively, go online
for a wealth of resources, many free, to help you get started.