Mindfulness – What’s it All About?

mindfulnessMindfulness is a huge buzzword in psychology at the moment, so what is all the fuss! I (by the way) am totally on board with the fuss and think practicing mindfulness is fantastic! But back to this HOT TOPIC.

I have been on about stress and the impact on the body, health, self-image and so forth! And I am not done yet (maybe I will never be done as this is something I see in so many spaces)! Mindfulness too has something to do with this.

Let’s try it out

Let me ask you to try something, as you sit where you are place your feet firmly on the ground, become aware of your posture, the seat underneath you, the sounds in your environment. Now bring your attention to your nose and feel as you breathe cold air in and warm air out. Focus only on your breathing, if you are distracted by a thought that is okay, acknowledge it and bring your attention back to your breathing. See if you can do this for five (5) minutes.

Where you able to centre yourself? If you were, that is an experience of mindfulness. For many first timers this might be a near impossible task!

Our usual day

Our usual day  might go something like this (and this doesn’t even include our racing thoughts):

People in and out of your office, the boss asking why you are late on the deadline? Get home, the kids are screaming or demanding attention or in need of something, cooking dinner, the phone ringing, a whatsapp message coming through, oh look I got a like on facebook, ooo I wonder what so and so is doing, that looks interesting, oh my favourite show is on the telly, oh there comes a text, what where you saying darling?

Does this sound familiar?  This is the pace we function at and not even my grammar checker on my PC likes it, that whole paragraph is underlined and I’m not fixing it, because that is just how things are these days! So how does that crazy, busy time link to Mindfulness? Well it is a rather direct link, it helps you to focus on one aspect or context at a time, to centre yourself and bring yourself to the here-and-now as opposed to living in the there-and-then (yesterday, later or tomorrow). Living in the there-and-then limits you from experiencing what is happening currently, you cannot process the now or even, perhaps, enjoy it! Mindfulness is a way of learning or teaching yourself to focus on the now (it’s a process and takes time to learn)! It is the start of living your present life and yes planning for your tomorrow but not living in it just yet.

Living in the present 

I attended a talk recently where the speaker spoke of tomorrow never coming, and isn’t that spot on. We try live for tomorrow and midnight comes and oh look it’s today! That is all we have and yet we are not living it or experiencing it fully. That is the essence of mindfulness, connection within yourself while appreciating and accepting that around you and what you are dealing with.

Mindfulness is beneficial for everyone, it is not meditation or sitting in a lotus pose (although mindfulness should feature in each of these). It is a really, awesome way of engaging with yourself in a non-judgemental way, finding the reset button, allowing you to be in the present moment, to have meaningful connections, to break isolation, as well as to deepen your experience and acceptance of yourself. Pop around Google and you should find some interesting articles on Mindfulness, keep your eye out for research showing the benefits of mindfulness (there are quite a few researched benefits).


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