Mindfulness has recently become an area of focus in the field of Positive Psychology. Yet, Mindfulness has always been an ancient practice in a wide range of Eastern cultures. It seems that Western culture is just catching up with the health benefits of mindfulness practice which is now recognised as an effective way to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, enhance emotional intelligence and to reduce destructive thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
So, what exactly is Mindfulness? The word gets thrown around a lot in Wellness circles and many people have a misguided understanding of what the practice of mindfulness actually is.
Knowing what you are doing at the exact moment that you are doing it is the essence of mindfulness.
There is nothing particularly fancy or magical about being mindful. All it involves is paying attention to your experience from moment to moment.
The practice of mindfulness can lead to new ways of seeing and being in your life. When practiced regularly, the present moment reveals a very special truth: it is the only time that any of us ever has.
Many of us live our lives anywhere but in the present moment. Running on autopilot, we are often either focused on the past and worrying about situations beyond our control. Or, we are consumed by thoughts of the future which can perpetuate feelings of stress and anxiety. When we are mindfully present in the now moment, debilitating emotions such as anxiety, stress, and worry actually cannot exist.
What we need to realise is that the present is the only time that we have to know anything. It is the only time we have to perceive, to learn, to act, to change, to heal. Learning to be mindful and present in each moment does not come that easy to a lot of us. In today’s fast pace society, we are lucky to find one moment during the day to take a breath and relax. However, over time, this way of life can be toxic and incredibly detrimental to our health and wellbeing.