I often get asked what mindfulness actually is and why it is so popular right now, so here is Mindfulness the what, how and why:
Mindfulness is the practice of learning to be consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions.
It means learning to pay attention to what is occurring in the present moment with an attitude of openness.
Learning to acknowledge and accept without judgement and learning to focus your attention to be more fully present in the here and now so that you have space to enjoy a more balanced, connected and fulfilled life.
We would all have experienced some moments of mindful awareness during our lives. For example, watching a sunset, witnessing a birth, a moment with friends or travelling.
However, mindfulness is not simply being aware of the good times, it is also about embracing all of our experiences and remaining curious to all of our emotions, not placing one emotion above the other. This develops a resilience and enables us to work through challenges with a heightened self-awareness.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Increased Positivity and joy
- Improved productivity and focus
- Experience less stress, anxiety & depression
- Feel more self-acceptance and self-love
- Builds more positive relationships
- Helps to break addictive patterns
When you start to develop qualities of mindfulness, there can be more meaningful connection with ourselves – a greater clarity, inner peace, creativity, playfulness and sense of feeling alive. It can help us overcome obstacles with a greater degree of optimism.
How to implement Mindfulness
In a busy world where action is perceived as results it can be hard to slow down and make time for mindfulness.
It is unlike other activities because it is the opposite of doing. It is actually “un-doing”, which still still requires some time and focus.
Just as you would not expect to have great muscle tone on your first trip to the gym you would not expect to see great results on your first mindfulness session. Therefore this workbook will provide you with some simple tools to help you incorporate mindfulness into your day – it is recommended to practice 2 x per day for approximately 15 minutes per day to start to notice the benefits.
The tools of mindfulness are practical and simple to learn and can benefit everyone. There are a number of techniques that we can use to cultivate mindfulness – to be more present and aware.
The Beginner’s Mind
Much of our life is spent on autopilot, eg. travelling the same journey with no awareness to our surroundings, or have ever not really listened to somebody because you assume you know what they are going to say?
We have all been there at some time – approaching a situation with a preconceived idea of what we think we already know and in doing so we close ourselves off to experiences and other’s opinions.
On the other-hand, a beginner’s mind is open and receptive, willing to experience everything as if it were the first time.
Tips for practicing Mindfulness
- Whatever your experience, simply bring awareness to it.
- Maintain an attitude of openness and curiosity
- Meet each experience with acceptance.
- Remind yourself that all experiences pass – even the unpleasant ones.
- Maintain a discipline of regular practice with an attitude of self-kindness.
- Let go of expectations, thoughts, judgments – they are all in the realm of thought. Just let them go.
It is always recommended to utilise a qualified yoga teacher – Seeking a teacher that is Yoga Australia Recognised ensures that teachers offer the highest standard of teaching recognised by the Australian peak body.