Three Superpower Secret Weapons For A Less Frantic Day

23/01/2017 15:58 GMT | Updated 23/01/2017 15:58 GMT

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I'm no expert when it comes to movies but when people spend $626 Million on going to see The Avengers, I'd say superheros are a pretty big thing.

But as we grow up we leave our Supergirl and Superman figures behind and we get on with stuff instead - but do we still dream about it?

Ever found yourself saying "I wish I didn't have to work", or "I wish I could click my fingers and it would all be done", or "I wish everyone would stop all this fighting"?

I recently surveyed a large group of people on what superpower they would want and this is what they said:

21% - A peaceful world

18% - To fly

18% - To control time

13% - To teleport

30% - Other (communicating in all languages, shapeshifting, being invisible, mind reading, not needing to sleep, being fit with one press-up!)

After taking a moment to imagine flying across the ocean to visit my best-friend, stopping time in the middle of hugging a stranger, and travelling into the past to see my mum again, it got me thinking.

So many of these superpowers are desired because of simple problems most of us face every day:

I want to have more time

I want to be more connected

I want to live in a more peaceful world

I don't have a magic wand (per se) to hand out superpowers to solve these problems, but I do have something else you can do at work, in the bathroom and thankfully at your in-laws if you have them.

Mindfulness!

Apart from being a buzzword, mindfulness may actually be the answer to all your problems, or at least some of them.

When I talk about mindfulness I like to keep things simple. Think of it as an awareness of what's happening in any given moment, and being ok with whatever that is.

Take breathing, for instance. Know that you're breathing, notice what you're thinking and feeling, sense where it's happening in your body and be ok with whatever you experience. It's as simple as that!

But not that easy.

I used to get anxious all the time and my breathing was shallow. In any breathing exercise I'd notice it was shallow, get more stressed and consequently more anxious! Mission definitely not accomplished. With mindfulness it's different. All you have to do is take a few breaths, notice that they're shallow, accept them fully as they are and keep on breathing.

Now you're more au fait with mindfulness, let's get into those superpower secret weapons and see how they can help:

I want to have more time

According to a YouGov survey, we spend 218 minutes procrastinating at work every day so the problem isn't so much that you want more time, rather you want to do more with the time you already have. When practised over time, mindfulness helps you do this: it helps you focus, limits your stressing / daydreaming and makes you more productive by helping you focus on one task at a time - instead of having 15 browser tabs open, your laptop on, your phone beeping all whilst eating your lunch. Sound familiar?

Try this: Before you start something, sit up straight and pay attention to how your body feels, inside and out. Start at your head and scan down to your toes. Notice any sensations, tightness, warmth or perhaps cold from a breeze. Anytime your thoughts take over, acknowledge them and go back to how your body feels. Repeat for 2-3 minutes or as long as you feel you want to.

I want to be more connected

Ever had the feeling that the lights are on but nobody's home? Ever heard people say "I don't know why I waste my breathe, you're not even listening!". We've all be there, oh how we've been there, sometimes it's us and sometimes it's them. Well it's time to do something different.

Try this: When you phone someone, stop looking round the room or doing the laundry, sit yourself down, make a cuppa and listen to them. The dishwasher can wait, but a chance to connect in this precise moment simply will not happen again.

I want to live in a more peaceful world

Watching the news we want to change the world, we want to give the children shelter and we want to stop the fighting. But how can we spread peace across the world when we struggle to bring peace to our own lives and family. A peaceful world starts with you and every time you practice mindfulness you experience kindness and compassion towards yourself - that cannot help but spill into your daily life and relationships.

Try this: Become a smiler. I was raised in a village, people smiled and said hello and it really did make it a peaceful place to live. After 18 years in London that's the one thing I missed - no-one said hello anymore! To make this easy, start with smiling and if you feel ready to say hello then go crazy and do that too! You may just make someone's day and I guarantee you, it will make your own.