Updated 7 August 2020
Mindfulness can be described as living in the present, being completely aware and in tune with your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and your surrounding environment.
People have used this ancient practice for centuries, for example in monasteries and temples, to heal and nurture the mind, body and soul. With ever-increasing scientific evidence of these benefits, it’s no surprise individuals and corporate business are turning to it in bigger numbers.
Understanding the Three Aspects of Mindfulness
- Intention: Your intention is what you hope to get from practising mindfulness.
- Attention: Mindfulness is about paying attention to your inner or outer experience.
- Attitude: Mindfulness involves paying attention to certain attitudes, such as curiosity, acceptance and kindness.
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says: "It's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living caught up in our thoughts, without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour."
"An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. It's about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives."
Facts About Mindfulness
While the wider benefits of mindfulness and mediation may be hard to measure accurately, here are some science-backed facts worth knowing:
- It enhances your emotional well-being, helping to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression. Mindfulness improves your self-esteem, in turn giving you renewed motivation and positive energy - both physical and mental.
- Mindfulness can ease your aches and pains. It also helps you control blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of more serious illness. Whether used for healing or prevention, it helps develop and nurture a healthier mind and body.
- It sharpens your memory and improves decision-making. The practice of clearing the mind, removing doubts and worries, allows for clearer thinking and better focus.
- Mindfulness is shown to improve your relationships through the increased empathy and compassion you build. Whether at home or work, these qualities help to make you more resilient in personal and social situations.
- It can help you reduce or quit compulsive behaviours, such as smoking and gambling etc. Mindfulness is also proving to be effective in long-term weight control, making it a more practical option for some people than diets.
It seems that mindfulness is looking within to make that inner-connection with yourself. Learning to love yourself and all the goodness around you. Creating the sense of peace and calm allowing you to make the most of every step in life’s journey.
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