This word ‘Mindfulness’ seems to be used a lot these days, ‘Be mindful of what you eat’, ‘Be mindful of others’, ‘Be mindful of how you spend your money’. Though surely there is more to this ‘mindfulness’ than watching what you eat, being considerate of others and being thrifty?
So, What exactly is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state in which the mind is focused into the present moment. Not just on what is happening around you, but also what is happening internally. This includes how your body is feeling and all the different emotions and thoughts that are moving through your mind.
Mindfulness is a state of being in which we become completely self-aware. This self-awareness is something we could all do with more of as it is with mindful thought and action that we can sculpt our ideal lives. Through mindfulness we gain a more grounded understanding of ourselves and the way we act and react to situations and circumstances. The more mindful we become, the less we are affected by the strong pull of emotions and the abruptness of unforeseen circumstance. We become more balanced within ourselves and stronger and more capable of achieving what we set out to achieve.
How Can Meditation Help Achieve This?
The word ‘meditate’ actually means to induce a state of consciousness. Whether this be to better understand something specific, or just to learn to witness, acknowledge and accept, meditation trains the mind to become focused and aware.
There are many different types of meditation that focus on specific goals. Some focus on relaxation, others on motivation, creativity, stress or anger release, overcoming phobias and fears, or cultivating positive emotions such as love, compassion and forgiveness.
Although developing awareness is an aspect in all of these different types of meditations, mindfulness meditations specifically focus on cultivating mindfulness. They do this by focusing on becoming mindful of the body, the thoughts, the emotions, then environment, and of other people.
Different types Of Meditations
- Guided Visualisation
Incorporating Mindfulness Into Everyday Life
- Stop And Smell The Roses – It is amazing how many people, who have been so caught up in their work and personal lives, have never stopped to appreciate the moon, or the clouds, or the beauty of a flower in passing. Becoming more aware of the abundant beauty that can be found in any corner of this earth, is a fantastic way to cultivate a little mindfulness into your everyday life. So stop every now and then to take the time to appreciate that which is around you. It can be natural, man-made, a physical object or a sound or smell.
- Learning To Listen – Often during a conversation, we are so caught up in thinking about what we are going to say next that we forget to listen to what the other person is saying. Next time you find yourself have a conversation with another, take the time to listen to what they are saying and then give thought to your response. This mindful way of communicating not only helps us better understand the other person, but it also give us the time to reflect and consider our response more appropriately.
- Mindful Walking – Next time you are walking along, whether it be to get from A to B, or for leisure, become aware of the entire walking process. Consider the movement in your body with each step. The contact with your feet and the ground. The surrounding environment. The thoughts in your head. This way your walk actually becomes a meditation in itself, a form of ‘walking meditation’.
- Mindful Eating – This is something we could all try to practice more of. In order to properly digest your food, and gain all the nutrients it has to provide, you should be chewing each mouthful around 70 times each. I am sure you can relate to at times being in such a rush that you wolf your food down so quickly you would be lucky to chew 70 times for the whole meal! Using this time to become aware of your food, the nutrients it will provide you with, perhaps taking a moment to consider all the different people who worked to get the food in front of you, is a fantastic way to cultivate more mindfulness into your life, as well as develop a healthier eating routine.