Practising mindfulness is not just about meditating and doing yoga.
"While these two are great mediums for practising mindfulness, you can be mindful in every aspect of your life, from eating to walking, by being aware of the sensations in your body and lengthening your breaths," says Helen Clare Rozario, founder of Nirvana Mind, a company that offers mediation and mindfulness workshop.
According to a paper published in psychological science journal Frontiers in Psychology, the simple act of counting your breaths to consciously lengthen them can improve your memory and attention span.
And you don’t have to sit still for an hour – just four days of brief mindfulness training can make an impact, says another study, published in Consciousness and Cognition, a natural-science journal.
Aside from breathing exercises, you can practise mindfulness in everything you do – even in your skincare routine. Take time to be aware of the scents of the products you use (use these scents to improve your mood) and really feel their textures.
It helps if you use items with luxurious textures and soothing scents – like those from the improved Shiseido Future Solution LX line. This anti-ageing skincare range is created to engage your senses. The products are ideally warmed up between your palms before you massage them into your skin, and none are either so lightweight that they disappear once applied, or so rich that they feel greasy. The floral scent, from cherry blossoms, plum blossoms andJapanese roses, is subtle, soothing and unique.
And the packaging – with its contours and satisfying weight – makes the items feel like smooth pebbles or massage stones in your hands. Here are the steps to reaping the best benefits from this skincare range.
1. Cleanse your face
The Extra Rich Cleansing Foam E ($85) creates a dense lather that removes dirt and sebum without stripping skin dry.
Mindfulness Tip: Pay attention to the relaxing but subtle scent of the cleanser and how the lather makes it feel like you’re rubbing a silky pillow against your face.
2. Prep your skin with the lotion
Concentrated Balancing Softener E ($150) has a serum-like texture. It hydrates and evens out skin tone, and also helps remove dead skin cells.
Mindfulness Tip: Dispense a pump onto a cotton pad, then spread it out evenly by folding the cotton pad into half before applying it to your face – from the centre of your forehead outwards to the left then right, from the sides of your nose in a circular motion outwards across the cheeks, over both eyelids from your nose bridge, under your eyes from your nose bridge, from the inner corner of your eye down to the sides of your nose, from your cupid's bow out to the corners of your mouth, over the chin, and lastly, upward strokes across your neck. The calculated motions requires you to pay more attention to the routine, increasing your mindfulness if it.
3. The serum goes on next
The Intensive Firming Contour Serum ($370) infuses skin with moisture and nutrients from Japanese botanical extracts, so skin appears more youthful and supple.
Mindfulness Tip: Spread the silky serum over both palms, cup them over your nose, and inhale the scent with deep, long breaths as part of being mindful, before massaging the serum over your face and neck.
4. Then the daytime moisturiser...
Total Protective Cream E ($350) is a light daytime moisturiser that plumps up skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and boosts resistance against UV rays, pollutants and free radicals. It’s suitable for dry-combination skin, but if you find the texture too rich, try the Total Protective Emulsion E ($350), a lighter version for oily skin.
Mindfulness Tip: Warm up the moisturiser on your fingertips before applying it to your face in the same strokes as you did for the lotion. Again, the purposeful movements help ground your mind so you are more present in the moment.
5. ... or the night cream
The night cream, Total Regenerating Cream E ($390) is said to help repair cellular damage and promote the production of healthy new cells to boost firmness and radiance, and make skin more resilient to environmental aggressors that age it prematurely.
Mindfulness Tip: Apply this with same purposeful movements as the day cream and lotion, to help you be more present in the routine.
6. Top it off with the rich eye and lip cream
Eye & Lip Contour Regenerating Cream E ($192) is a dense cream for the contours around your eyes and mouth to reduce the look of fine lines and dull skin.
Mindfulness Tip: Warm up a pea-sized amount of cream between your fingers and massage it over your eyelids and under your eyes, from your nose bridge outwards, and from your cupid's bow outwards to the corner of your mouth, and from the centre of your bottom lip to the mouth corners, to cover the area where nasolabial lines are most obvious. Remember to breathe deeply to reap the relaxing properties of the soothing scent, and lengthen your breaths through this last part of the skincare ritual.