Stressed? Anxious? Cant seem to focus? Not sleeping well? Trying mindfulness might help with these symptoms.*
So what is it? Jon Kabat Zin, founder of The Mindfulness - Based Stress Reduction programme describes it as an “awareness that rises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.”
Therefore, this type of mediation activates areas of the brain which do not normally activate, and in turn, provides a higher level of consciousness through living in the moment. This process will also control anxiety and stress.
What do I mean by living in the moment? As our busy lives are frantic we may miss elements of our world that compose it. For instance, if I stop typing and close my eyes, take a deep breath out and in several times, I begin to really take in the sounds that may pass me by that help compose my world. I start to hear the domestic sounds, like the ticking of a clock, the humming of my laptop, the wooshing of the washing machine, the slight whir coming from the fridge. As my breathing slows down I hear sounds further away; someone chatting nearby, sirens, footsteps, birdsong, distant traffic. The sounds heard are associated with a more superior awareness, possibly because we know they are there in our busy lives but we ignore them. It is not just sound that is associated with mindfulness, it is a better sense of being: being in what we see, how we communicate with others, even what we taste. My blog entry about writing a journal, even noted that the logging of feelings is a form of mindfulness.
When you can, relax, let your vision not focus on anything in particular. Then close your eyes, let your breathing quieten, be aware of your arms and legs by stretching them. Try to be aware of your breathing pattern. Let your thoughts pass you by. If it hard for you to do this, imagine the thought just travelling by you just like passing traffic. If they continue to take over imagine lifting the thought up and dumping it in a bin. Then relax! After several minutes open your eyes and you will feel more aware as you have space between yourself and your reactions.
This doesn’t have to be a form of meditation you can do it throughout your everyday life. When it is at the appropriate time to do so, try to let the thoughts pass you by. And, Be Mindful ...
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*Please note I am not a counsellor. Seeing a professionally trained therapist may be useful in some circumstances.