Mindfulness; what is the hype all about?
The practice of living more mindfully has proven extremely valuable for people in so many areas of life. It is not a new concept, however, it is certainly spoken of more often now in western culture than ever before.
Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, being fully aware of what is happening both inside and outside of yourself. How is your body feeling, what thoughts is your mind exploring, and what is your heart telling you? Mindfulness is awareness of such with an absence of criticism or judgment.
How can we incorporate mindfulness in our life, so as to assure proactive wellness? Our lifestyle is often one that means we are going at an unhealthy pace and spending more time doing than being. This is simply not serving us well. We can accomplish as much or more when we are living mindfully. Single-tasking versus multi-tasking often means a higher quality output and a more grounded and clear mind. Getting outside means connecting with nature, and the great outdoors are so good for our mind and soul! When we are mindful at work, we can actually increase productivity, improve focus and enhance concentration. Have you ever read a page in your book only to realize you have no idea what you just read? It could be that you were planning your evening, thinking about that last conversation, or worrying about the upcoming meeting. When we are mindful, we are focused on the present. When we are not, we tend to be visiting the past or predicting the future.
Our relationships benefit greatly from our ability to be more mindful. A mindful parent enjoys the luxury of being more aware of the child. A mindful partner experiences a physical, mental and emotional connection that drives greater enjoyment of the relationship and their encounters together. When we are mindful we are better able to forgive, have a better awareness of what truly ‘is’, and we decrease the chances of reacting versus responding to the other. This means reduced regret in terms of what we might say when we react! The connection is more authentic as well as deep, rich and soulful.
How can we be more mindful, and does it just mean paying more attention? We need a true focus on our breath. Not just breathing to stay vertical, but deep, conscious belly breathing! If we can take even short pauses throughout the day, we will increase mindfulness and by checking in with self we can gauge if we are aware or on autopilot. Meditation is a wonderful mindfulness practice, and by regularly incorporating even short meditation to our day, we increase our mindfulness in all areas. We can get outside and just ‘be’. Savoring pleasures enhances our awareness and mindfulness, bringing greater peace and calm to our everyday. Please know, that the ability to empty all thoughts from our head, is NOT the only way to measure effectiveness with meditation. If we can notice, without judgment what is happening, we are being mindful. One step at a time…enjoy, be, practice and reap the benefits!
With mindful regards,