Mindfulness is not a religion. It is not brain washing. No magic here.
Mindfulness is, being in the moment, noticing how you feel in the present, what you see in the moment.
How does mindfulness help anything?
- Focussing on the here and now, right now, stops you thinking about what may have happened in the past to make life difficult. It may also stop you thinking to the future and predicting what you think might happen. Thinking about the past and the future can cause low mood and anxiety. Being mindful, in the moment can protect you from dipping into low mood or anxiety.
- Learning how to be mindful allows you to be in your own peaceful mind without anyone knowing that you may be totally in your own world.
- Mindfulness can help you connect to your emotional experience.
- Being mindful can help you work out what it is you need to work on to be more mindful.
Mindfulness has been described as seemingly religious or ‘spiritual’. The reason for this is because it has been practiced in the Buddhist faith. It can also be ‘started’ by using a gong and ‘fininshed’ using a gong. These parallels to should not put you off trying mindfulness.
Being mindful takes practice.
Just like meditation, you don’t just ‘start’ being mindful. It is a process and you become better and better at it.
How to be mindful –
These are the 4 key ways that you can try and be mindful. It is not just siting in a room and trying to ‘be’ and letting your thoughts pass you by.
Sitting in a room waiting for a gong to strike can be the most unmindful thing you could do. Your thoughts may race in a quiet room, your mind may wander because you don’t give yourself space to be quiet. You may have intrusive thoughts that ordinarily you bat away with distraction or just life.
Mindfulness is something to be tried, attempted and rehearsed. Only you can work out what is best for you.
Whatever you chose to do with mindful practice, the most interesting part is when you find one that challenges you. It might be telling you something bigger than you think. This is where you can really challenge yourself to see what ‘work’ you need to do.
If you can’t sit still and ‘listen’ to your own stillness, maybe you are filling life up with too much? If you can’t stay focussed on a mindful experience (walking or eating), what is getting in the way? What is your brain protecting you from?
Before I give you the skills to actually ‘be’ mindful’. Identify a time when you want to practice. Lunch break. Brushing your teeth. In the gym. Without doing regular practice, it won’t ever become that useful to you.