"PAYING ATTENTION, ON PURPOSE, IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, NON-JUDGMENTALLY"
Have you noticed the word mindfulness seems to be everywhere these days?
What exactly is mindfulness?
First and foremost it is a quality we all possess.
“Paying Attention”: This a basic human ability. It is an awareness of where we are and what we are doing.
“On Purpose”: We have the capacity to deliberately choose to be aware.
“In the Present Moment”: In this moment, and in this moment, and in this moment…
"Non-judgmentally": Once we start paying attention to what’s on the mind there comes a recognition that almost everything is a judgement. Seeing it as it is, or as Kabat-Zinn says, “… no need to judge the judging…seeing it is enough”.
The awareness, the attention of mindful practice also involves the senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting. It “embodies” what is happening in the body at that moment.
Why is mindfulness so important ?
The benefits to our health and well-being are numerous. Here are just a few:
- Boosts the immune systems ability to fight off illness
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression
- Helps the brain to focus
- Increases the density of the brain’s grey matter in areas linked to learning, memory, emotional regulation, and empathy
Ready to improve your mind’s capacity to be aware?
Try these two mindfulness exercises that can be done anywhere and that take very little time.
Focus on the breath. Breathe in slowly, hold the breath for a count of six, then breathe out slowly. Repeat. Naturally your mind will start to wander. Simply notice your thoughts, let them be without judgement, and return to watching your breath. The simple act of becoming aware of the thoughts and returning to the breath is the essence of a mindfulness practice. Try to do it for one minute. Guess what? You just practiced mindfulness with a meditation.
Pick something in your surrounding natural environment. Clouds, plants, insects, animals, raindrops, even a houseplant will do. Focus your compete attention an it. Look at it as if it was the first time you saw anything like it. Allow yourself to notice and be. Try that for a minute or two. Guess what? You just practiced mindfulness with a meditation.
“Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
BE restored my friends!
To your good health,