You may have heard the word “Mindfulness” over the past few years. It’s a word and a practice that is being championed throughout the Western world as a way to help in times of stress of just with general well being. But, what is it?
We might often find ourselves multi-tasking, living busy lives juggling our work, home life, social media, finances, social life and everything else life throws our way without taking time to “be present” in the experiences life gives us. Moments can seem to pass without us realising they have happened, and before you know it life has been whizzing past in a blur. Not only do we miss the important things in life, we find that we are more tired, feel more stressed, and disconnected from our own thoughts and feelings.
Through the simple practice of Mindfulness, we can take the time for ourselves. Mindfulness is a way of reconnecting with ourselves, noticing our thoughts and feelings so we can experience life as it is without judgement. It is the act of being present in the moment.
So, how do we do it? Whatever you are doing now, stop. Don’t change anything, but stop, and notice everything you can.
Notice how you breathe. Be aware of how you breathe.
Notice how your body is positioned.
Notice how your body feels.
Are there any aches or pains? If there are, realise that those aches and pains are okay. Just be with the feelings.
Now you have created a gap between what happens and your reactions, so your reactions to those things can be based on how you think and feel, and not on impulsive reactions. Your responses are now made with a deeper understanding, clarity and insight. You can respond more wisely, and start to live in the moment.
And that, in its simplest form is Mindfulness. Of course, that is a small exercise that will benefit you but Mindfulness can get you composed, clear-headed, and show you that everything passes including thoughts and feelings. being aware they are there is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself.
Daily practice, just 5 minutes in the morning, can really focus and help your day be less stressful. Or if you notice yourself starting to get stressed, take yourself to a quiet place and sit and just be for a few moments to compose yourself and reconnect with your thoughts and feelings.
At Swansea Mind, we teach and use Mindfulness in our Managing Anger Course and our Wellbeing course as a tool to use. If you are interested in either course, give the centre a call and see if you could benefit too.
There is a wealth of information on Mindfulness, and we have provided a few links below. The only way to know if it works for you is by trying it. By giving yourself a few moments to sit and be.