Mindfulness is often described as being in the moment.
Although this is one description, it is also much more. Mindfulness is giving your focused awareness to the present moment, and doing so with kindness. It is immersing yourself in whatever you’re doing right now, but without judgement.
It is learning the elements of kindness, compassion and non-judgement for yourself and others that makes Mindfulness different to, say, just concentrating or distracting yourself.
People find it hard to be kind to themselves. You might feel lazy if you stop to unwind. Perhaps you feel guilty if you take time to rest. You might think about all the things you could be doing if you put our feet up even for five minutes. And then, you might beat yourself up for even thinking about having a rest.
You might have also noticed if you stretch yourself too far or spread yourself too thinly, you’ll get every cough and cold going. This is why rest and relaxation are so important – especially for busy people. And why Mindfulness is a useful – and not too time consuming – approach to coping.
What are the benefits?
There are thousands of pieces of research on Mindfulness at the time of writing (and quite a few books).
The benefits include being a proven technique for:
- Effective relaxation
- Reducing stress and improving mental health
- Managing pain
- Improving the immune system
- Better sleep and reducing insomnia
- Enhanced concentration
- Lowering blood pressure and much more
Where and how long do I need to do it?
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere: at home, at work, on the bus, in the doctor’s surgery, even in the dentist’s chair. You can practice for one minute a day if you like, although you’ll see the benefits sooner if you manage a bit longer each time.
Are mindfulness and meditation the same thing?
They can be. As we’ve seen above you can be mindful anywhere: listening to the birds singing or watching a sunset. This is known as informal meditation or “off cushion” practice. When you sit or lay down with the intention to be mindful for a period of time, this could be considered formal meditation – or “on cushion” practice. You don’t need to sit on a cushion on the floor though, just an ordinary chair will do.
Is Mindfulness a religion?
No, Mindfulness is a way of life. It’s something you can introduce in to your daily living whether you follow a particular faith or not.
The teachings behind Mindfulness are 2,600 old and based on the original discourse of the Buddha. Whilst Buddhism is recognised as a religion around the world today, the intention behind the teachings was to help people find peace amongst their suffering and live a more peaceful life. You don’t have to be Buddhist to practice Mindfulness.
Is it Mind control?
It’s more like Mind Management. Mindfulness is a technique which can help you manage unhelpful thinking and live a more peaceful life.
The strategies used help you notice your unhelpful thinking before it becomes a problem, or challenge it helpfully if it does. You are in control of what you’re doing when you’re being Mindful, that’s one of the things which makes it Mindfulness.
You might like this article – Mindfulness: It’s The Thought That Counts
Why isn’t everyone doing it?
The most common reason people give up on Mindfulness is that they think they’re doing it wrong. If you’re new to the technique, have tried it but struggled with it, or want some guidance on how best to start, you could book a 1-1 session with me or join one of my classes.
Mindfulness is a tried-and-tested way to reduce stress and improve your sleep.
Still not sure what mindfulness is yet? Here is a * FREE * Mindfulness Factsheet containing an activity to try.
I offer 1-1 and group sessions as well as training for organisations in mindful leadership. For details of next workshops and classes, or to book a 1-1 or corporate event get in touch using the form below.
What do people say about my classes? See image below.
You might also like: Kindfully™ – my new mindfulness app, coming soon.
Here is a lovely explanation by “Mrs Mindfulness”.
© Copyright Delphi Ellis 2017
You might also like:
Online Resources Packs – guided meditations and activity sheets to purchase and access online in the privacy of your own home, for your personal use.
Serenity – events and resources for busy women, promoting self-care through mindfulness
Mindfulness in Pregnancy (article)
Delphi, Thank you for listening to me, your calmness, your empathy and the techniques you taught me to help with my anxiety. They have been invaluable and I will continue to use them. Thank you for helping me find my sparkle. ~ Debbie.
Made Mindfully™ (coming soon!)