Top Things To Know About Mindfulness
Life has in some ways slowed down over the last year, with many of us having more precious time on our hands than ever before… That wish of working in our pyjamas and having more time to spend with our families came true, but even as we sipped our home made tea after an extra lie in, there was still a hint of cloudiness… Why is that? What is it that blocks us from feeling content and happy and at peace?
There is only one culprit.
So, if our minds control our emotional state and ultimately our well - being, is there something we can do to navigate it’s tricks to better serve us?
YES! The key is a practice called mindfulness.
Now for many, people hear the words mindfulness or meditation and associate them with someone sitting cross legged with their eyes closed, and although this is sometimes what a mindfulness practice can look like, it is so much more than that.
Mindfulness is a way of life. It’s a way to approach the every day and make living more enjoyable and less stressful.
“Mindfulness will help you stay calm and productive in the face of change and challenge”
You can apply mindfulness to everything you do; from walking, to eating, to grocery shopping or brushing your hair.
Mindfulness is a choice that you make, to bring yourself back to the present moment and really be aware of all the sensory and internal information coming your way. Feel the pressure changes on the pads of your feet as you walk, try not to eat on auto-pilot but really taste that meal in front of you… Think about the person cooking it and how the food was grown. Feel the textures of the fruits and vegetables and delight in their natural beauty as you pop them in your trolley, tap into the sensation of the brush on your hair, unwind with a mini scalp massage, find comfort in connecting with the texture of your hair on your finger tips….
Even a mundane ‘chore’ like washing up could be a serene moment for you to appreciate and come into contact with the life force that is water, and a moment for you to reflect on how fortunate you are to have the choice of desired temperature and on demand service.
As we bring mindfulness into our lives, we become more grateful. We become more connected with the world around us, and thus we become more in tune with ourselves; helping us to appreciate our own qualities and gifts and reprogram tenacious ways of thinking.
Individuals who practice mindfulness are able to release tension, worries and grudges because they are no longer fixated on the past/ future.
‘We live peacefully in each moment without wishing it was different’.
Mindfulness helps to promote the unity of mind, intellect and body which helps us to live a fuller, richer and more satisfying life.
It sounds like magic… and in some ways it is! It’s the magic of being in control of your mind rather than letting it control you.
“Ancient practitioners believed that stillness is the space where creativity and peace reside”
If the above hasn’t got you raring to embrace a more mindful way of living, here is a list of some further benefits:
Benefits of regular mindfulness practice:
Reduction in stress
Improved quality of sleep
Better mental clarity, memory and focus
Helps to reduce resistance to living and life
Improved immune function
Improved skin health
Better self-esteem as we distance ourself from self-depreciative thought patterns
Improved creativity and decision making ability
Promotes a compassionate and loving approach
Teaches us to love ourselves as well as others
We are able to navigate life’s obstacles from a place of peace and compassion
We are able to make peace with our internal experiences instead of being driven by hatred or fear
Pretty impressive right… I hope you are on board to give this a shot. If you are, have a read over the Seven Foundations of Mindfulness… they’ll put you in the best stead for a more happy, aligned and brighter you!
The 7 Foundations of Mindfulness Practice
1. Non- Judgmental
We want to step away from the constant stream of criticism and labelling of every experience/ feeling as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This automatic categorisation evoke automatic instead of conscious responses and we can get caught up in the mind’s perspecitve
Patience is the ability to allow life to unfold moment by moment, without wishing to rush to the next moment. Practicing patience reminds you that you don’t have to fill each moment with more activity or more thinking in order to make it richer
3. Beginner’s Mind
The beginners mind needs to shed preconceived ideas and habitual judgement, in order to see the true nature of reality
It is important to cultivate an attitude of trust. Learn to trust in your own wisdom, intuition and authority. Meditation techniques emphasise what it means to be your own person and understand yourself. When we practice mindful meditation, we take responsibility for being who we are.
5. Non- Striving
Unlike all other activities that are goal-oriented, meditation means non-striving - trying less, and being more - participants will gradually learn to intentionally cultivate non-striving. The movement towards the goal will happen on it’s own.
Acceptance of events often comes after volatile periods of anger/ denial. Cultivating an attitude of acceptance reduces the likelihood of resistance. It is important to accept a certain situation for what it is before it can change for the better
7. Letting Go
Letting go of experiences, instead of holding onto them or denying them is one of the basic principles of mindfulness. We simply watch thoughts, wishes or regrets arise and go on their way, without pulling them towards us or pushing them away.
“Every one of us has the seed of mindfulness, the practice is to cultivate it” Thich Natt Hanh
Your yoga practice is also a great place to practice mindfulness, with each and every move, the way your body feels, the way it reacts to your breath. Tuning into the shifts in energy and emotions, observing the mind during meditation and so much more.
If you would like to book in for a group or private session get in touch, we will be more than happy to guide you through your new mindful way of living.
Sending you all love & healing
If you enjoyed reading this blog post and think others may too please feel free to share by selecting the links below