“The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”
“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”
Mindfulness. As you can see from the above dictionary definitions suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you are doing, to the space that you are moving through in that moment. This may seem simple, but our minds so often take flight and veer from the matter at hand that we lose touch with our physical selves and find ourselves engrossed in obsessive thoughts about the past, future and so on. This creates anxiety.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in any one moment, to be fully aware of where we are and what we are doing, to not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by that which is happening around us.
Mindfulness is something that is always there to bring us back to the moment if we find ourselves drifting away. Sometimes it is as simple as taking three deep breaths and returning our focus to the present moment.
Mindfulness can be cultivated through various techniques, particularly through meditation, yoga and breathing. These techniques allow us to have the time to suspend judgement and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching everything and everyone with warmth and kindness. It’s about greater clarity of mind, without all the clutter and negative self-talk, about finding the optimum path towards your goals with focus and alignment.
Anyone can do it. As a practice mindfulness cultivates universal human qualities and does not require any change of faith or beliefs. Its more a way of being, learning to be present and in the moment. This enables you to bring more care and attention to everything that you do and can cut down daily stress quite impactfully as instead of worrying about this, that and the other, you are instead focused on doing and being.
Mindfulness is evidence based. There have been many studies in and around mindfulness practice that can demonstrate its positive benefits on our general health, happiness, work, and personal life. Because if we are paying attention to what we are doing, who we are with, where we are at any given moment, it has our full attention, and as such we achieve the best results without allowing interference from our minds wondering.
Through mindfulness, you can come to realise that you are not your thoughts, thoughts are not facts, and you gradually learn to allow them to float in and out as if they were in little bubbles, coming and going without having any impact.
Through mindfulness you learn to observe without criticism and be compassionate with yourself and with others. When unhappiness or stress hover, you learn to observe and let it drift and not attach to it so personally. As such this has a positive affect on the brain day to day and impacts your daily stress, anxiety and depression levels.
Mindfulness has been shown to help improve memory, creativity, and reaction times.
All in all, there are only positive results to be had so it is an everyone wins type of situation and as such I would recommend everyone try it. It can only benefit you in multiple ways.
To learn more please keep an eye out for future posts where I will be talking about steps to a more mindful life in the coming weeks.
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