Mindfulness is the new hot-topic in New Age cycles – ‘practice mindfulness, it’ll change your life!’, but what does mindfulness actually mean? Mindfulness involves consciously bringing awareness to the present moment – the here and now experience- with opening, willingness and receptiveness. In a nutshell, it’s about paying attention on purpose to ones current state of mind and affairs. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a well known authority on the use of mindfulness training describes it as “The art of conscious living”, waking up and connected with ourselves with an appreciation of the fullness in any given moment.
According to thehappinesstrap.com, mindfulness can help you:
• to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
• to increase self-awareness
• to become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences
• to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
• to have more direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts
• to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like the weather
• to become aware of what you’re avoiding
• to have more balance, less emotional volatility
• to experience more calm and peacefulness
• to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
So, how do you practice this? Savouring the moment, mindful breathing (taking a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing), make an effort to look at the world through new eyes and practicing mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation requires you to sit quietly in a comfortable space and, with your eyes closed, focusing on your breathing or a word/phrase you repeat. Whilst doing thing, allow thoughts to come and go and, without judgement.
Ultimately, being mindful means showing up for our lives without being distracted with wishing for things to be different or wishing things to change – it’s about realising that if something does need to be change, we are present enough in the ‘now’ to understand what needs to be done moving forward.