What is Mindfulness?
I'm currently studying with the Irish Mindfulness Institute and want to share with you today the basics of mindfulness. I will be sharing some quotes from the course that will be in Italics and there is a 3 minute practice included below.
When we think of the word mindfulness generally we think of being in the present moment right?
But what does that mean really? And what's the point of doing it?
Mindfulness is the opposite of being in the automatic pilot mode.
Automatic Pilot mode is when you're doing things without even thinking. Like driving to a location, getting there and not remembering the journey. Habits formed in the brain through repetition.
Basically not being with the 'here and now'.
Mindfulness is defined as:
"The awareness that comes from paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Take a moment right now, to ask yourself "Where is my mind right now?"
More than likely as you've read these couple of lines, your mind has already travelled off elsewhere with or without your noticing it has. Am I right? You kinda wanna rush through reading this. Scroll down to see if there are any quick tips, magic words that will make you more mindful right now this second and get on with your day.
Rushing is a form of Mind-less-ness. They say an untrained mind is a mind in the pursuit of the future. Our attention span is so bad.
"When we start to look at what is happening in our minds, we are trying to do away with this present moment in the pursuit of some future moment which we think holds greater gratification or pleasure."
We sign up to newsletters or open articles only to read a few words of the writings and then get distracted by something else or decide we don't have time to read.
Even as I type this, my mind has thought about the email I'll put together to send to subscribers. Will anyone read it? Should I be writing in this colour or a different colour ? Constant distractions every second.
It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to being a little mindless in our day to day. We can work with it and TRAIN our minds to be more mindFUL.
So what can being more mindful do for us?
Accept current situations
Reduce preoccupation with yourself
Space to choose your response to situations
Increase understanding of others
Increase in empathy
Reduce Stress levels
Enhance communication skills
Increase Emotional Intelligence
Increase Ability to retain information
I will go into the science behind what impact mindfulness has on our brain in the next post.
So today, can you take 3 minutes to be mindful?
Below is a 3 minute guided meditation with focus on breath.
In moments of utter anxiety or where you just need a time out, throw it on and breathe.
Let me know how you find it. More to come :)