Mindfulness – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
This blog actually came about due to a conversation I was having with my better half last weekend (that’s the wife by the way). We were discussing the actions of a certain person whose name shall remain disclosed, and the fact that his actions were nothing more than spiteful, completely unnecessary, childish and done with no thought of their actions what so ever!
As a parent they truly should be ashamed of themselves, but the sad part is even if they read this blog they wouldn’t associate any of the writings with themselves or ever bother with something as basic as being mindful!
So let me start the blog by just busting a few Mindfulness Myth’s!
- Mindfulness is nothing to do with religion! (this appears to be the biggest misconception, and also the reason most people dismiss something as useful as mindfulness).
- Mindfulness is not just hocus-pocus! It’s a tool that can be learnt and used to improve everybody’s life, everyday.
- Mindfulness has actual scientific studies to proves it’s a very useful technique for battling depression and also positively effects brain patterns which help with day-to-day anxiety and stress.
- Mindfulness teaches you to live in the moment and to enjoy those moments. As humans we are always focusing on the next thing that HAS to be done and rarely ever focus on enjoying each moment as its dealt to us.
- Mindfulness teaches you to be calm and patient with everything that happens around you! Instead of being hyper-reactive to people and situations it allows you to keep a calm mind and actually think about how you are going to deal with that situation and/or person.
- You aren’t going to be sat on the floor with your legs crossed, rubbing your thumb and fingers together, humming Oooommmmm! Yes, mindfulness can include meditation and its an incredible tool for clearing your mind of clutter and concentrating on the moment in time but it’s not essential.
So where do we start, and whats all this mindfulness nonsense anyway?
Well, lets put it this way, if you’re the type of person who over reacts to situations, snaps at people, tends to say hurtful things to people and even loved ones, without really thinking it through. Becomes anxious or hassle’d because they are trying to do too many things at once and is constantly thinking about what they have to do next, then this is seriously something you should be learning and putting into place!
The absolute basics of mindfulness is simple mental training and that of being mindful! Sounds simple doesn’t it? But, even just looking back over your day so far how many people have a real recollection of the days events? Do you remember getting out of bed, the feel of the warm shower or bath, the smell of any lotions, deodorants or smellies you may have used, the taste of your morning coffee or breakfast, kissing your partner or kids before they or you left for work or school?
I’m guessing not, as most people are too busy thinking about what there doing next or what needs doing that day and just going through the motions of their daily routine.
Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses.
So how do we get more mindful, and how do we re-train our brains? Well, here are the basics of mindfulness –
- Look at the present moment as it is. The goal is simple, aim to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement – easier said than done I know!
- Let judgements roll on by – when we notice judgemental thoughts during our practice we can make a mental note of them and just let them pass on by!
- Always return to observing the present moment as it is – our minds often get carried away with thoughts, usually old thoughts and behaviours which can cloud our judgements, that’s why we practice returning to the present moment over and over again – without judgement.
- Be kind to your wandering mind – don’t beat yourself up over negative or non-useful thoughts that just crop up, just practice recognising that your mind has wandered off and gently bring it back to the present moment.
- Set aside some time each day – you don’t need any special skills to practice and master mindfulness, you will need to set aside some time and space for yourself to practice though.
That’s the basic practice. Is it easy? No, but nothing worth having ever came easy, but with enough practice this will just become part of your daily life, a daily life of less stress, less anxiety, less fall-outs with family and friends.
Life is just easier and simpler when you become mindful.
And if all the above doesn’t interest you then let me leave you with one huge benefit! When you have mastered being mindful you will react very differently to those around you, and when you come across somebody in life who is intentionally trying to wind you up, but having no success, just enjoy the moment and have a chuckle to yourself while you watch that said person tie themselves in emotional knots – non-judgmentally of course!
If any of the above interests you or you would like some more details on becoming mindful then feel free to either fill in the form below or drop me an email HERE or please visit my website HERE to see what else we may be able to offer you with regards to Hypnotherapy, NLP or coaching.