A brief introduction to mindfulness!
Are you efficient at your work and feel like you are in control of your life? Are you enjoying each part of your day, whether it’s at work, at home, with loved ones or on your own? Or do you feel that you could be enjoying each day a little more? If so, it turns out you’re not alone.
Have you ever……
- Walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there?
- Forgotten what someone just said to you in a conversation?
- Been driving in a car and had trouble remembering how you reached your destination?
- Put something down and forgotten where you put it?
- Find yourself thinking about the same thing over and over?
- Find yourself reflecting on the past year (or longer) and wondering where it has gone and why it has past so fast?
……Then mindfulness could be your solution.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.” – Jon Kabat Zinn (Founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)
It is a way of paying attention to the present moment. It’s about being present with what we are doing and being efficient with what we are doing. It is being aware and practicing non- judgement on yourself or others. It helps you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and to deal with them in a positive way; instead of feeling overwhelmed by them, you are able to manage them constructively. It is a skill that can be developed by practice and can involve using techniques like meditation, conscious breathing and yoga. This short video gives you a good introduction.
And it really works! This Oxford University study showed that people who practiced mindfulness for one month experienced up to a fifty percent reduction in anxiety levels, depression and stress. Harvard, Oxford and Stanford Universities offer mindfulness courses. Mindfulness is not just a trend but a proven method for success.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
The benefits of mindfulness are many. Regular practitioners experience an increased sense of well-being and become less reactive, more responsive. They are better able to make sensible choices.
Regular practice can reduce stress levels, make you feel more in control and give you self-confidence. It can help with depression and anxiety, help you to be more productive and have a positive effect on physical problems such as hypertension and heart disease. Mindfulness can make you a happier person and a nicer person to be with. If you like the sound of that then please read on to find out how to bring mindfulness in to your life.
How do you do mindfulness?
There are many different options for finding out more – attend a local mindfulness course, read a book or find a course online.
Here are just a few:
- My mindfulness courses here and my introduction to mindfulness and yoga retreat weekend here.
- Courses at the Wangapeka Retreat Centre near Nelson.
- Try Jamila’s online course here.
- Download an App onto your I-phone, Smart-phone, I-pad or similar device. I like the “Smiling mind” or “Headspace” apps.
- Here are some other options – some apps are free. There are also ideas for those who are not into meditation.
- Annabel Candy’s book tips on mindfulness. This blog is excellent reading, full of insights into yourself, your life and more. I can highly recommend it.
There was a mindfulness summit held from 01 October – 31st October 2015. You can still access it now. Even though you pay for it now it is well worth it. It features the world’s most knowledgeable experts speaking and teaching on mindfulness and meditation. It could be a good source of inspiration and motivation. It is a series of online interviews, practice sessions, and presentations.
When times are hard it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel – often just day to day stress can be overwhelming. I hope this blog has given you some ideas on how to practice mindfulness, exercise some control over negative thinking and develop a sense of perspective at difficult times. Life doesn’t have to be hard and there are many ways you can help yourself.
If you find this post helpful or if you have some ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a message below.
http://www.shamashalidina.com/courses/ (My teacher)
http://www.wangapeka.org/ (Nelson course)