Mindfulness can be practised at any time, whether you are standing in a queue at the supermarket, sitting in traffic or watching the sunset.
Essentially mindfulness is about noticing what’s happening in the moment. We have all heard the advice of living in the moment, well mindfulness is the practice of doing that. It sounds really easy on paper - live in the moment - but from my experience the mind tends to get preoccupied with thoughts about the future, such as what needs to get done or it’s engrossed in the past dwelling on what could have been or memories of the good old days etc. This is not a judgement about the way our minds can operate, in fact mindfulness has as part of its function the objective to not judge our experience, but simply accept the experience as it is, whether that’s good or not so good. I made this point about our minds generally being preoccupied with future thinking or past memories because the goal of mindfulness is to stay present to the here and now where life is actually happening. I always think of young children and their capacity to be enthralled with whatever activity they are doing and the joy this often brings with it.
I’m suggesting that as adults we too can access this same connectedness to the moment that children have and at the same time go about our day-to-day activities with their attendant responsibilities. Mindfulness is a skill and like any skill it has to be practised so it can become ingrained into our being. Mindfulness can be practised at any time, whether you are standing in a queue at the supermarket, sitting in traffic or watching the sunset. All it entails is becoming aware of your immediate environment – that can be externally by focusing on what you are seeing, smelling, hearing or feeling. Or you might be aware of what’s happening within – your thoughts, emotions or sensations in your body. The art of this technique is to not judge your experience, but practice accepting that’s the way it is. We naturally judge our experience, so if you are aware that you have a judgement about something then just notice that.
Research has shown that there are many benefits to the practice of mindfulness. To name a few:
- Reduce stress
- Improve mental functioning such as concentration and memory recall
- Increases creativity
- Improves sleep
- Improvement of mental health such as depression and anxiety.
If there are challenges in your life maybe mindfulness can help you and if you are interested in meeting any of us to discuss this further then please give us a call.
Hope this day finds you well.