What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. Put simply, it is a form of taking control of your thoughts, stepping back from the stresses of daily life, and focusing on the now. Many of us go through our day-to-day lives on autopilot, not concentrating fully on what we are doing. We often complete tasks and jobs only to not remember half of what we have done. We are too busy worrying about tomorrow, next week, next year. We consume our minds with what we can’t afford, what we can’t achieve. In all this persistent concern about the past and future, we are missing out on the present.
Being mindful is to bring your thoughts to the present; what is happening right now. It is to be aware of and observe your feelings, thoughts, emotions and reactions. If we can learn to alter our mindset to understand awareness of the here and now, it can bring benefits to our lives in many ways. We often get ‘caught in the moment’ and react to a situation differently to how we would have if we had longer to consider the consequences. Being mindful can help us to focus and process our thoughts before we react.
Practicing mindfulness can help to encourage more calculated reactions in our every day life. In time, this will become a natural process, resulting in a calmer state of mind. We encourage ourselves to act in situations consciously, rather than sub-consciously. If we do this, we are taking control of our lives, we are choosing to be present in our surroundings, and in turn this can lead to a happier existence.