What is Mindfulness?Like the word suggests, Mindfulness is when the mind is concentrated on what is happening at a particular moment, this maybe your life in general or a part of it, say; tackling anxiety, stress or dealing with certain people or an individual in your life. Mindfulness can also be applied to any part of life, even work-projects. People have either ignored or not been aware of the benefits of Mindfulness practices. Some think it should be easy to practice Mindfulness, but that is not necessarily so. This is because the human brain is continuously active, even when we are not working, when we are performing passive tasks and when we’re sleeping (minimally when we are in Default Mode Network). When we add to this, all that is going on in our daily lives (family, work life, some have Health issues etc.) and our worries about the future; we gradually lose contact with our inner self. This includes the basic checking in with whom we are, resulting in misalignment of our purpose, our values and the reality of our lives today.
More Analysis…All these mean that some of us forget how great and powerful we are. We then need to learn how to access and engage these innate abilities. A good way of checking this out for yourself; is to look at the size of how you are living your life compared to what you are capable of achieving. Let’s use the “ICEBERG” analogy to demonstrate. If “YOU” are an “ICEBERG”, the “YOU” that you see today is only the tip of that “ICEBERG”, the rest is of course hidden below (like an Iceberg). All that immense powerful part of you is hidden. Consider for a moment; this formidable part of you that you are not tapping into (your unconscious power). Now imagine being able to access this powerful part of you, to engage it and utilise its power in your everyday life! This is where Mindfulness Practice comes in. Mindfulness Practice can help bring your hidden, immense part into conscious awareness. Fortunately, it is a skill that anyone can acquire. It helps you to quieten down and be more conscious of your actions, thoughts and emotions; all of which makes it easier for you to make better decisions. Mindfulness practice can also take you back to basics, to develop the ability to be fully present. It opens you up to be aware of what you are doing. In short, Mindfulness is key to being in control of your life.
Why Mindfulness Is ImportantAll the benefits listed above have been proven by research and various studies. They show that Mindfulness practices help with managing stress, reducing anxiety, depression and helps people with serious illness to cope better. The benefits of Mindfulness practice also continue to improve your overall wellness moving forward. The result is that people who practice mindfulness have improved self-esteem, greater enthusiasm for life, able to relax and enjoy life. Mindfulness Practice will help you gain the following over time:
- A better control of your worries
- A better way to react to things that are not of the present
- Ability not to be overwhelmed by people and situations
- A better way to view the future (as we you know, there is no amount of worrying today will reveal tomorrow!
- Happier lifestyle and wellbeing
Type of Mindfulness Practice
- Quietness: A walk and/or a relaxed activity with no distraction. Whilst walking or performing your chosen activity, tune in to notice the beauty of nature, the weather, trees, the sensations of the air etc.
- Journaling: Journaling has been shown to be beneficial to our overall health.
- Gratitude list: Helps to improve well-being. It promotes positivity which over time changes your perspective by helping you to focus on the positives and things that you are grateful for.
- Yoga Nidra: This is a form of guided meditation, for a few minutes; say 15 minutes. It is also called Effortless Relaxation. It is not Physical Yoga but, a practice of lying down with a teacher guiding the session (there are a lot of free Yoga Nidra practices on the internet). Yoga Nidra is a good way to relax as it takes you effortlessly into a restful state for restoration and awakening of your inner self equilibrium.
- Single-tasking: As the name suggests, this is doing one thing at a time, as opposed to multitasking. This practice helps you to free up some mental space, enabling better focus.
- Mindful Eating (and other single areas of life). With Mindful eating, you turn an everyday meal into a mindfulness practice, eating and chewing more purposefully, slowly and thoroughly to savor your food, the texture, flavors and aromas.