Mindfulness, to be in the present moment, to deliberately bring 100 percent of your attention to whatever it is you are doing, right now, in this moment. You could read this blog mindfully or with a mind not fully focused and aware that you are even reading this article – We have all got to the bottom of a page in a book and not had a single clue about what we have just read. Don’t tell me I am the only one with wandering mind and spinning thoughts at times. This is a big signal that its time to tune in, to slow down, to be present, to be mindful.
Everything except sleep can be done mindfully, we can eat mindfully, and we can walk mindfully, read mindfully, work mindfully, even just sit and be – mindfully. With each of these acts bringing intent and presence instead of just going through the motions of life. Daily mindful practice can help us to remain aware, and present during all situations in life, not just being present in the moment but also being present within our bodies and minds as well.
One of the main reasons to have a daily mindful practice is to become more aware of our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. To observe our minds habits and to tune in and take note of the physiological changes that occur with certain thoughts and feelings. The more we practice being mindful in simple everyday tasks the more control we have over our minds when things get a little tough or difficult situations present themselves.
We can train our minds like any other part of our being, and there are benefits from understanding how it works and reacts. Practising mindfulness can have so many benefits.
1. Stability of mind – maintaining your mind in an alert clear space rather that at the two extremes of a cloudy disengaged mind to an agitated, stressed mind.
2. Flexibility of mind – the ability to shift your mind to whatever situation or task you choose rather than having to bounce haphazardly between a number of issues or tasks.
3. Self-awareness – being aware of the contents of your mind and understanding the typical patterns your individual brain constructs.
4. Acting rather than reacting – becoming less reactive and understanding you are in control of how you are being and feeling in any moment.
It does take a little practice but that practice doesn’t have to be hard. Like any other form of therapy real change requires commitment and repetition, small daily changes can have huge positive outcomes in the long term. So why not start today, what is the next task on your to do list – your next action? I challenge to do this mindfully, to mentally set the intention of the task, to bring your awareness to each individual movement or action, to observe your thoughts, keep you mind fully focused on what your are feeling, thinking, experiencing with the task at hand.
Practising mindfulness aims to allow us to see our thoughts and emotions for what they really are, judgements we are having in the moment and feelings we are currently experiencing. Our minds begin to understand that our thoughts have no hold, no bearing over us unless we attach to them, feed them, fuel them, and believe them without question. We start to grasp the concept that we are not our emotions and see them for what they truly are, a feeling that is strong within us at this time but as everything will pass. These emotions do not define us. When we start to disassociate our thoughts and emotions our minds cease to be in control of those harmful strong reactions and habit patterns and slowly but surely become under our own control and intention once again.