Mindful Living

for a happier and healthier life

Design Anthology / Lane Crawford

Once the domain of new-age hippies, mindfulness is increasingly recognised as a way to improve your health, productivity and overall happiness.

‘Study after study shows that mindfulness in fact makes people less stressed, more productive and maybe even healthier, and maybe even happier too. It’s backed by a lot of science,’ says New York Times reporter David Gelles, author of Mindful Work, a new book about the ways that companies are using techniques like meditation to change the way they do business.

Mindfulness is changing the way we live too. Some designers are using interiors to help us live more in the moment, with low-tech devices like Knauf and Brown’s Standard Table Lamp, which can only be turned on by manually connecting a circuit. The idea is that, by removing the on-off switch, the act of turning on a lamp becomes more contemplative.

All of these ideas are rooted in anxiety over information overload. If we take the time to unplug, take a deep breath and engage with our surroundings, the theory goes, we will become happier and healthier.

Marie Kondo thinks the easiest way to achieve that is to get rid of all of our stuff. In her 2011 book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, she insists that the way to manage your possessions is to decide what to keep, rather than what to throw out. Pick up an object and ask yourself, ‘Does this give me joy?’ If not, get rid of it.

Kondo became an international sensation after her book was translated into English in 2014, speaking to just how many people are yearning for a life that is simpler, more focused, more worthwhile — in short, more mindful.

Text / Christopher DeWolf