Mindfulness can help your ability to focus or concentrate, athletic performance, sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, motivation, blood glucose control, and healthy eating. Learn more here.
You might of heard of mindfulness in passing lately. It’s always popping up on social media these days… but what is it?
Mindfulness suggests that the mind is fully paying attention to what is happening in the moment, what you are doing, and the space around you. It might seem simple, but our minds are naturally good at distracting us from what we are doing and our bodies are often on “auto-pilot”. Typically in those moments our bodies are doing, but our minds are thinking about the past or the future, and pretty soon we are fully engrossed in our thoughts, overthinking, worrying and completely missing out on what’s happening in the now.
Mindfulness helps us step out of the “auto-pilot” mode. Noticing the experience of the present moment with our 5 senses, with acceptance and without judgement. During mindfulness practice the aim isn’t to change anything, it’s to simply notice and become aware.
Mindfulness can help with our ability to focus or concentrate, athletic performance, sleep, blood glucose control, stress, anxiety, depression, motivation, healthy eating and chronic pain. Mindfulness can help us manage the distractions in our lives, enhance our senses, clear our minds and help us better understand ourselves.
After all, the brain is the master control centre of our body, and so often we overlook of how to take care of it. We exercise, we try to eat right, and sleep enough, but what about our minds? We need to take care of our minds just as much as any other parts of our bodies. Mindfulness can help you do just that, and having a mental practice can have massive impact as the brain can impact the entire body.
Who is mindfulness good for?
Anyone! There are many videos I have seen popping up on Facebook about children doing mindfulness instead of detention in some schools. Athletes practice mindfulness to be more aware of their bodies, their breath Mindfulness can be used for therapeutic reasons with the guidance of a psychiatrist, psychologist or a counsellor. Mindfulness has been popping up in companies like Google, where they offer their employees classes.
Is this just the latest trend, a fad that will disappear in a year or two?
I think not. Mindfulness falls under the umbrella of meditation that has been developed from 2500 years ago in core principles of Buddhist psychology. Just like Yoga, these eastern concepts brought to the west by several forward-thinking pioneers, including the scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn. In the 1980 Jon Kabat-Zinn used the frame work of the Buddhist meditation to help people deal with stress and chronic pain successfully.
Mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways from a 1-minute check in with your breath every once in a while to a 10-day silent retreat. You can be still sitting down or lying down or mindfulness could be more about movement or walking. Everyone is different. Therefore, one particular practice may work better for you than another. The key is to start exploring and figuring out what does work for you.
What to know more? Check out these resources: