The lifelong art of mindfulness
It’s a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean, and how can its practise steer us towards a more connected and enriching existence?
Well respected American professor of medicine Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “…maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens”.
Mindfulness in practise:
Here are some examples of mindfulness practises that will teach you to be present and instantly ground you regardless of the circumstances. It is easy to let our minds wander and manipulate us into thinking a situation is much more dangerous than it is, take control and set boundaries for your internal conversations.
It’s the price we pay for living in a fast-paced world; stress is experienced by all of us to a degree, at some point in our lives. High blood pressure, insomnia, obesity and mental fatigue are just a few of the many ways that stress can affect us, making managing it through healthy habits paramount for maintaining performance and happiness. When you actively incorporate mindfulness into your everyday, you’ll find your stress responses will be less intense while your blood pressure and immune system also benefit.
While benefitting your physical health, mindfulness also can improve mental wellbeing. Learning to be present enables you to better focus your energy and bring yourself into a peaceful state when you choose. When you invest in mindfulness, you award yourself better control over challenging behaviours and feelings.
It is only when we learn to treat ourselves with kindness both physically and mentally that we can truly help and love others. Mindfulness teaches us to be accountable for the way we talk to ourselves, while also reminding us to be less critical and more nurturing. Take some time out today to practise mindfulness techniques and enjoy a moment of peace, just for yourself.