What Is Mindfulness and how does it affect us?
Often we hear people talk about mindfulness and the benefits it can bring to our everyday lives. But what actually is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is, in fact, as simple as it sounds. It is about being completely in the moment, allowing your mind to be aware of what is happening now, in your present. Mindfulness means focusing on how you feel, what you hear, see and smell; everything that surrounds you.
Mindfulness offers your mind the opportunity to disconnect from the stresses and strains of modern life. It allows you to deepen your breath and enjoy the simple things, allowing you to take time out for you.
Despite mindfulness being a relatively simple concept, it requires practice and dedication to be able to become more mindful. So often we are thinking forwards, planning for the future, or reflecting on the past. We think of all the things we need to do, where we need to be and we become bogged down with all of this thinking. Practising mindfulness allows us to stop thinking about ‘stuff’ all of the time. It enables us to reconnect with our body and notice how we are feeling. This reconnection can help us to be aware of different tensions we are holding and encourage us to relax. However, it is more easily said than done. Naturally our minds wander, we need to set time aside to allow us to train the mind to stay present.
Planning and reflection obviously still have their place. Nothing would ever get done, nor would we learn from past mistakes without thinking sometimes. Thinking is a positive thing. The problem occurs when we cannot switch off our thoughts. Modern life is busier than ever before, with so many things demanding our attention at once. Smart phones and tablets make leaving work at work near on impossible, with about half of the population even taking their emails to bed, research suggests.
Take time to disconnect from technology and your to do list. Enjoy a walk in the park and enjoy the sights and sounds, or relax in your lounge, without the need for a Television or computer screen to entertain you. Focus on how this mindfulness makes you feel and notice how this can benefit your health and happiness.