The ‘buzzword’ of the moment, mindfulness is an ancient practice with multiple benefits. Mindfulness means paying attention with all the senses in a non judgemental way. If you stop acting on autopilot or through habit it can lead to the possibility of something different.
“When we enjoy the world’s wonders without trying to own them – and work with its stresses rather than shun them – we start to lead a more liberated life.”Ed Haliwell ‘Mindfulness’
It can be practiced as a form of meditation (explained further below) and (could be or but preferably and) you can live your life in a more mindful way, building it in at regular intervals throughout the day such as when having a shower, eating, exercising etc.
There are so many reasons to be mindful …
- Lower inflammation
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve pain tolerance
- Lower risk of high blood pressure
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Prevent obesity and help with other eating issues
- Lead to a more stable mood
- Encourage a more positive outlook
- Help with relationship issues
- Help defuse anger issues
Meditations can use breath, mantras or guided relaxation (ie hypnosis). This can be combined with an anchor (see blog on anchors) so that it is easy to recreate this feeling (and gain the associated benefits) whenever and wherever you want.
I watched a film yesterday called ‘About Time’ where the main character could go back and relive a day. The moral of the tale was to enjoy the present moment and really be there – smile at coffee shop servers, play with your children and so on. Schmaltzy as it may have been, there is some sound advice there if you want to be happy and relaxed and have positive relationships.
This is not to say that it is easy. We all live busy lives where we think we have to do multiple things at once in order to get it all done. However, this is actually inefficient and can lead to all sorts of issues (the opposite to the benefits listed!).
So how do we become more mindful? Slowing down, concentrating on the present moment in a non judgemental way is key but regular meditation would also really help. If you need help doing this please contact me to book an appointment.
“By giving attention to your senses, you turn down the volume on the cacophony of inner thoughts.”Amos Clifford ‘Your Guide to Forest Bathing’