Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. Yet despite that, it’s hard to find what it is and what its main benefits are.
Mindfulness is best thought of as awareness.
It takes place at the boundary where you meet your environment. It is awareness that you are not your thoughts. And that thoughts are not facts. Moreover, it is also awareness of all the senses. Touch, sight, sound, taste and smell.
It draws on 2,500 years of history of teaching. And it draws on different religions and philosophies, including Buddhism. But it is not just meditation. And it isn’t doing anything or seeking enlightenment, or sitting cross-legged in a flowing robe.
It is both ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ meditation.
Formal meditation is usually carried out sitting or lying down. Meditations can be by anywhere from 3-20 minutes. (Or even 45 minutes for those who really like them!).
Informal meditation means becoming more aware at moments in our day-to-day life. When we are eating, for example. Or during our relationships. Or when at work. It’s a practice we can all get better at. It justtakes a little effort and guidance.
The benefits are wonderful.
Whether they enjoy ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ practice most people embrace mindfulness. They see it as completely harmless and fun. And they see it as non-threatening way of achieving change.
Everyday Mindfulness is becoming more popular.
As practitioners who have benefited from Mindfulness, this delights us. Across the world scientific and medical communities have taken the practice to their heart. The resulting research has generated proven methodologies of working.
Mindfulness is an amazing way to learn how to relax. And it can also help with many physical and emotional disorders. Most noteworthy are depression, anxiety, pain and stress.
When we engage in being ‘in the now’ then this is where we truly are. As a result we are not stuck in the past or anxious about the future.
With a little guidance and practice we can all live a little more mindfully. Happier, more relaxed, less pressurised and stress free, full of well-being and the joy of life.
Matt is a trained and licenced Mindfulness teacher and Stress and Anxiety Reduction Counsellor operating in and around the Peterborough area. After overcoming his own stress and anxiety he's found his purpose teaching others to do the same.
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