Mindfulness is being aware of bringing yourself in the present, deliberately and without judging the experience.
So just imagine going for a walk in the woods, and you notice every little detail you come across, the trees, birds and the flowers that you encounter.
By doing this, we are reconnecting to the simple things in life, and by truly living in the moment.
It’s nice to sense peacefulness, and we can become passionate about life once again.
Mindfulness can also help to alleviate stress, which is a good intervention to stop us from becoming ill, or from actually having a breakdown.
Some of the benefits of practicing mindfulness exercises regularly include, increased experiences of calm and relaxation, more energy, more passion for life, more self confident and self acceptance.
It also decreases the effects of depression, anxiety, stress, addiction and can improve the immune system.
When we learn to be more mindful, with practices such as the mindfulness meditation, or using the body scan meditation.
We also become more compassion for ourselves and other.
We become skilled at working around the pain and stress in our lives, instead of focusing on it all the time with suffering.
You will start to understand that it may prevent us from getting ill and sad, and it can return us to our awareness of things like the clouds in the sky, eating tasty fruits and the beauty of nature, just like when we were a curious child.
As our awareness grows, we become more grateful and more compassionate, we become more positive, and can let go of our anxious mind, and really appreciate the beauty of life to the full.
Reasons to practice if you notice any of the following?
• You find it difficult to stay focused on what is happening in the present moment.
• You tend to walk around in life quickly not noticing or being attentive to what you experience along the way.
• You seem to be running on automatic pilot, without noticing what you are doing.
• You rush through activities without being present and attentive to them.
• You find yourself always thinking about the past of future.
7 Benefits of Mindfulness
1. Automatic pilot
When we are in a doing mode, we become accustomed to go through life habits on auto pilot, not really noticing what we are doing.
Everyday things like working, eating,walking or driving, the danger of this is that we miss much of our life in this way.
How many times have you gone out in your car and got to the destination, yet you can’t remember passing a certain set of traffic lights, or a certain building, this is because you were on auto pilot.
Mindfulness brings you back into the doing mode, to full conscious awareness, a place of choice and intention.
When you’re more mindful, you turn the auto pilot off, you learn to stop wasting time pointlessly going through the same old habits of thinking.
2. Less analytical
When we’re in the doing mode, we remain in our heads, it analyses, makes plans, recalls memories, and compares.
We are too busy in our heads, that we don’t realise what is going on around us, and don’t experience the world directly.
Mindfulness however is a different way to view the world, we get in touch with our senses, you can hear, see, touch, smell and taste things again.
You become curious about the world, and begin to appreciate the wonders of things like nature, and the food you eat, you won’t take things for granted anymore.
3. Start to be accepting not judging
When we are in the doing mode, we compare and judge the real world with the world as we’d like it to be in our thoughts and dreams, and can become disappointed as we may try to become perfectionists.
When you are more mindful in the being mode, you become less judgemental, you watch life as it unfolds, allowing it to be just as it is for that moment.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean that you accept your fate, you acknowledge the experience for what it is, instead of letting it seize control of you life.
It allows you to simply observe it, rather then attacking it, judging it, arguing with it, or disapproving it, and stops those negative thoughts from spiraling out of control.
4. Thoughts and Reality
When we are in the doing mode, we always create our thought and images of the world, and you can mistake from reality.
When we plan something we might start to worry about the planning, the doing which might never happen, so we worry unnecessarily.
Say for example you start thinking about work the next day, you worry what someone might say to you, worry that you might have an overload of work to do.
These events haven’t happened yet, what’s the point of these negative worrying thoughts, none at all.
However when you practice mindfulness and are in the being mode, you will see that these are just thoughts, and you will learn to let them go for what they are, and notice that they have no importance for you at this present time.
You will approach whatever situations happen to you on the actual day, and not worry on the day before, when the day hasn’t even begun.
5. Approach and not avoid
In life we have events or problems which make us feel uncomfortable, if we are in the doing mode, we tend to avoid these, instead of confronting head on, as we think it will make things easier.
But really this isn’t the case, it just increases our anxieties and stresses, as haven’t learned to manage these thoughts.
Whereas when we are in the being mode, we are encouraged to approach these difficulties, as we learn to acknowledge the fears and sadness, and don’t allow these feelings to engulf us.
With a positive approach to our problems and worries from being in the being mode, we gradually dissipate the negative feelings, and in the future, these same problems will be easier to handle.
6. Mental time travel
Many times in our life our moods are affected by our thoughts, thinking of bad past events constantly, reliving it over and over in your mind.
Opposite to this, is worrying or stressing over future disasters, what haven’t even happened yet, or might not even happen, you are in time travel travel. Why cause yourself this unnecessary pain?
Mindfulness trains the mind, to see your thoughts as they occur, you will live your life as it unfolds in the present.
You will still remember the past, and plan for the future, but in the being mode, you will see these memories and thought for what they are, just memories and just thoughts.
This will free your mind, and stop you from mental time time, and from punishing yourself by re-living your past or pre-living the future.
7. Depleting yourself
When we are in the doing mode, we tend to be on auto pilot, and cram a lot into our lives, and we make excuses why we can’t do things to nourish ours souls and mental wellbeing.
We overload ourselves with work and family commitments, so tend to not have the time to pursue our hobbies and activities which are very beneficial yo our health.
This will gradually over time deplete us, feeling drained, listless and exhausted, and have no passion for life.
The way we rebalance this, is in the being mode, more mindful, and to make more time for our hobbies and activities, by seeking out things, that once made you happy, or to pursue a new interest to indulge yourself in.