Mindfulness is paying attention to what we are experiencing just as it is in the present moment. Mindfulness and meditation (which involves mindfulness) have been practiced for centuries in the east and maybe to a lesser extent, in the west. More recently, as the benefits of mindfulness are being identified it is becoming more widely accepted and practiced. Research studies are beginning to show that practicing mindfulness can be beneficial in:
• Helping reduce stress
• Improving our ability to focus
• Improving our mood
• Assisting with managing pain
• Improving our learning and memory
• Helping us regulate our emotions
• Boosting our immune system
Mindfulness does not require large amounts of time to practice. We can take any opportunity to practice mindfulness no matter how short. When we get busy our mindfulness practices may get pushed aside. When we realise what is happening, we can pause and begin again.
Mindfulness is not the same as relaxation (the aim of which is to become more relaxed). In mindfulness we are not aiming to achieve any particular experience. Our aim is to focus our attention on whatever we are experiencing and whatever happens as we do this, will happen. We may experience quite deep relaxation as we practice mindfulness, but if we don’t, that is OK. Also every time we practice mindfulness our experience will be different.
Develop the habit of practicing mindfulness and discover what amazing things can happen