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Definition 

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

Mindfulness is essentially taking part in mental exercises or activities that promote a positive mindset. It is a technique that encourages you to focus on positive thoughts, thereby pushing out the more harmful negative thoughts that we experience. Mindfulness encourages use of meditative type exercises to enable us to clear our minds and focus on what we’re doing at the present moment. It focuses on using an increased awareness of the five senses to heighten our perception of the here and now, be it eating a new food, enjoying the warm heat of the sun on your body, or listening to a bird singing, for instance.

How do I do it?

1.Research. Take some time to research the different methods of Mindfulness and find what is the best fit for you. 

Some useful websites are:

https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness

There are also various apps for you to try such as  Calm or Headspace:

https://www.calm.com/

https://www.headspace.com/

2. Commit both to the philosophy and to the time commitment it takes. The time commitment is actually fairly minor, perhaps 10-15 minutes every day. First thing in the morning is often a good time, as it puts you in a good frame of mind for the coming day, however, it can be practised whenever you have time in your daily schedule.

3. Reflect and record. Take time to review your feelings and emotions during your mindfulness practice: Are you getting any benefit from this? How do you know? Research has shown that keeping a journal, blog or some other such record helps when we come to review the positive effects of mindfulness.

How does it help?

Mindfulness is really a way of life, in that it must be practised regularly. The benefits of using mindfulness techniques have been shown to produce improvements in sleep, appetite, emotional regulation and dietary intake. It has also been proven to have a significant impact on reducing levels of stress-induced anxiety, depression and substance misuse.