Mindfulness – A Closer Look

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

A lot of time in our day to day lives is spent thinking about the past, worrying about the future and focusing on everything else apart from what we are actually doing…right now.

We all possess the ability to be ‘mindful’. It is not a strange skill that you have to learn over years and years. We are all capable of being mindful and it is certainly a tool that we can all utilise whenever we need to find a small piece of calm or relaxation.

Using mindfulness has many benefits. For me these include;

  1. Reducing Stress
  2. Enhancing Performance
  3. Increased Attention
  4. Insight and Awareness into our own minds

We can be mindful anywhere. You may have heard of mindful walking, mindful eating or mindful meditation. Basically we can ‘be mindful’ in every activity we do. It is about having the ability to concentrate wholly on the ‘now’. Clearing your mind of the worry and stress of past events and future events.

We can also refer to our busy minds as a ‘monkey mind’. Jumping from one thought to another constantly and building that feeling of overwhelm because we just can’t handle all of these different thoughts.

For me when I think of mindfulness I naturally think of music, nature, breathing and meditation. The calming aspects of one or all of these helps me become mindful. You can rely on mindfulness in any situation. If you are on a busy train or in a crowded city street it is very simple to switch off and simply concentrate on what is happening around you.

The term mindfulness conjures up a different picture for everyone…What do you think of?

You may use the physical elements around you to concentrate on like people, buildings, the sky, noises or you may decide to switch off and close your eyes and simply concentrate on your breath or maybe your body. I generally have music wherever I go and never leave the house without headphones of some kind so I find music helps me relax and create a feeling of calm.

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