Everywhere you turn these days, the term Mindfulness seems to be popping up, but what is Mindfulness and how can it help?
Mindfulness is often defined as 'paying attention on purpose, moment by moment, without judging and with curiosity and kindness. This means developing the ability through meditation skills and techniques to pay deliberate attention to our experience from moment to moment..
Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however learning to do this in a way that suspends judgement and self criticism can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make better informed decisions about their health and life in general.
In our busy, modern lives, most of us find ourselves being frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities; wanting things to be different from how they are right now. In this way we often live our lives on auto pilot, moving from one thing to the next, without really noticing what is actually happening.
Everyone is different and their experience of mindfulness will be different, but people who have attended a mindfulness course report;
• Finding new and effective ways of managing their stress, pain, anxiety and discomfort
• Feeling calmer and more confident
• Improved immune system functioning and diminished stress-related symptoms like eczema and psoriasis
• Being less judgemental of themselves and others
• Being more self compassionate
• Being better able to communicate their needs
• Living their lives more fully
How can I get started?
It takes some effort and practice to learn mindfulness. So the best way to start is with an experienced Teacher who can guide you and to come with an open mind and an attitude to give it a go and see what happens!
However, mindfulness isn’t all about sitting on a cushion and closing your eyes! It’s also about learning to be more present from day to day in our busy lives.
Here’s an idea on how you can have a go yourself at bringing mindfulness to one of your daily activities…..
Drinking your morning cuppa.
It’s a fair assumption that we all look forward to our morning cuppa, whether you are partial to a cup of tea first thing in the morning or a steaming mug of coffee. This may not seem like the obvious place to create a mindfulness practice, but it’s almost perfect.
It’s one of the first things we often do when we step out of bed and it sets the tone for the day. You could continue racing through this simple activity, if you wish, or you could choose to set aside five minutes and sit down with your tea or coffee and just be.
Leave your mobile phone alone. Don’t check social media. Ignore your email. Just take in the flavours and aroma of your morning beverage and enjoy the moment.
If you would like to find out more about Mindfulness, how it can help you, and try some short practices, we are holding an Introductory session at Teign Fitness led by Anna Murch, Mindfulness Teacher (annamurch-mindfulness.co.uk), on Saturday 9th April at 11am – 1pm. Places are limited to 12.
Thank you so much to Anna for this blog post!
I'm looking foward to the workshop myself! If you'd like to book a space then please let me know ..... spaces are limited!