In order to fully comprehend everything you are about to learn from this site, you need to have a working knowledge of a few key topics. One of those is mindfulness. So, let’s look at what it is and why it is important to you in your life.
Mindfulness is defined in the dictionary as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” However, we are more interested in a different definition:
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, used as a therapeutic technique.
Why are we more interested in this? Because it can be easy to rush through life without noticing life.
Your mental wellbeing can be improved by paying more attention to what is happening in the here and now – to your own thoughts and feelings and all that is happening in the world around you. By paying attention to these things we can enjoy life more. It will also allow us to understand ourselves better.
Personally, I have benefitted from practising mindfulness in a number of ways. Almost all of my social interactions, whether these are direct or indirect, are more considered than before I began to practise. Thinking before I speak, something people are often keen to tell you to do, really is a virtue unto itself. Whilst I have not perfected this virtue, I have made great strides. Further, mindfulness has allowed me to care less about what other people think of me and worry less about the outcomes of things I have no control over.
Sounds good, right?
This is not an exhaustive list of all of the benefits to practising mindfulness (other studies point to enhanced self-insight, changes in morality, increased immune system functioning, reduction to task effort and having thoughts that are not related to the task at hand, to name just a few).
The next question I can hear you asking is how do I practice it now that I know how good it is for me?
Essentially, practising mindfulness is really quite easy. It just involves you thinking about what you are doing. Seriously, that’s all. When I say think about what you are doing, however, I mean really think.
When you drink water from a glass take the time to think about the sensation of your skin on the glass, the water moving through your mouth and down your throat. Being fully aware of everything that is happening is mindfulness.
Try it now: grab a drink and pay attention to how it feels to drink it. The liquid moving about your mouth and down towards your digestive system. Is it refreshing? Focus on that. How does your throat feel when swallowing? Take your time and drink slowly.
If you have just done this then congratulations! You’ve taken your first steps in your mindfulness journey!
I will be exploring more ways to be mindful, including of course mindfulness meditation, in the future.
In the meantime, try to fully experience everything you do. Always pay attention to the feelings you have when doing otherwise mundane tasks. From laundry to jogging and bathing to breathing.
If you have experience with mindfulness let us know what it is in the comments below and how it has helped you. Did you practice mindfulness today? Tell us how and what it felt like!
Thanks for reading,