Mindfulness is a word that seems to pop up everywhere at the moment… but what does it really mean?
Mindfulness is the concept of being in the present moment, not worrying about the future or raking over the past, just being in the present moment. Mindfulness brings awareness to our minds and can benefit us with inner peace and calm, resulting in a stress free life. Sounds simple but for the majority of humans it takes quite a bit of practice.
Start by being fully aware of certain actions you usually do on automatic pilot like washing up – be fully aware of the temperature of the water, your hands immersed in the water, how that feels, the bubbles, the cloth or brush in your hand and against the plate or bowl, the actual cleaning of the items and the movements you make etc. When your thoughts wander, and they will, don’t get annoyed just bring yourself back to the present moment and what you are doing and each time continue to be fully aware of your actions. At first you may only be able to do this for a minute or two, don’t be put off just keep on practicing and build up to 10 minutes. This is one of my favourite mindfulness meditations. I used to hate washing up but a small change in my perception of washing up transformed the act into a regular peaceful mindful meditation.
Equally sunset for me has now become an opportunity for mindfulness, watching in silence as the sun sinks lower and lower, observing the changing of the colours in the sky, the sounds, the light, placing attention with the clouds and their shapes and above all feeling a sense of calmness at the centre of my body.
Mindfulness takes time to practice. As with most things the more you practice the more you get good at it and the more benefits you realise… for example Mindfulness can help us listen more carefully to our family and friends, it can help our interactions and make us more thoughtful about our reactions. Mindfulness can help bring life into our lives, enhancing positive feelings, lifting our spirits and making us feel happier with life. Try it, you may like it and let me know how you get on in the comment box below.