What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation practice that trains our attention to what is happening in the here and now. By living in the present moment, we can come to realise that a lot of modern-day stress and suffering is unnecessary.
What are the benefits of practicing Mindfulness?
Neuroscience research has shown that regular mindfulness practice can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other health conditions that come about through stress and worry. Some of the key benefits include:
Mindfulness focuses the mind to be present – to cultivate awareness in our lives to the here and now instead of getting stuck in the past or ruminating about the future.
It helps us to concentrate and focus, as well as strengthen our memory function.
It helps to change how we relate to and perceive physical and emotional pain.
It can improve our quality of sleep, support our immune system and aid our digestive health.
It can benefit our relationships and overall wellbeing and outlook to life.
Regularly practicing mindfulness makes us more resilient to stress and less reactive to challenging situations.
As humans we learn to train our physical bodies to be healthy & fit but do we listen to our minds & hearts?
A simple and often truer definition of mindfulness is heartfulness. It allows us to practice kindness and compassion to ourselves and others, as it is often our self-critical thoughts that can do the most harm.
How do I learn Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is learnt by direct experience. Being aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations in our bodies is one of the first steps of practicing mindfulness. Through simple breathwork and movement practices we can start to understand more about the connection between the mind and body. We can also start to identify our patterns of behaviour and learn to respond creatively to life's stressors - holding thoughts, good or bad in open-hearted awareness.
By slowing down and noticing the everyday things in life, however small, from feeling our feet touch the ground as we walk, or tasting the food we eat, allows us see things differently and exercise our minds to a greater health and wellbeing.
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)