Understanding Mindfulness

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It might seem a bit ironic, reading about how to ‘switch off’ through an article online, but in this day and age, people take their information and learning in multiple ways. If you lead a stressful life, or have moments in life when you’re so busy that you don’t realise how quickly time is passing by, then you might want to learn more about mindfulness, and start your journey to a more relaxed and healthier state of mind. Whether you are just starting out or experienced in meditation, mindfulness will help you to become more present in your daily life and not only lessen your stress levels but relieves anxiety, worries and helps you lead a more healthy life.

Mindfulness is about being aware of what’s happening around you. You’re mindful of what you’re doing, seeing and feeling at that time, and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It’s about experiencing things as they are and not overthinking them right at this very moment.

Research suggests that if you’re living ‘in the now’, you’re more likely to be happy, self-confident and hopeful. Therefore you’re less likely to be depressed, angry, anxious, or even get sick or run down.

Most people spend much of their time mindlessly living. Ever been watching TV or surfing the internet and suddenly realised that three hours have gone by? Sometimes it can be beneficial to zone out, but mindlessness doesn’t have quite the same effect on your life.

All it takes is practice. You can practice anywhere, doing anything. It’s just about doing the one thing that’s in front of you. So how do you get started?

Start by unplugging your TV or laptop (when you’ve finished reading this), turn off your phone, and just be aware. Close your eyes. Start noticing what it is you can hear, and what you feel on your skin, and how you feel inside. Then think about what you can see. If you notice other thoughts creeping in (like how much work you still have to do), just watch those thoughts as if you’re watching something pass by. Don’t get caught up with the thought, or fight it, just observe it and it will fade away.

Give your full attention to what you’re doing and before you know it, you’re practising mindfulness and it will help calm the chaos in your mind. Give it a try!