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Mindfulness is an ancient eastern practice – and is a very simple form of meditation. It enables you to quieten your mind and take control of your own focus of attention. Instead of you passively allowing it to focus on negative or distressing thoughts.
By learning to focus your attention, you can prevent past or future worries taking over your thinking. This in turn will effect positively how you are feeling right now.
To begin to practice mindfulness carry out an everyday activity – usually we are in auto pilot going through the motions with our thoughts taking over. For example have a shower, listen to the sound of the water, think about how the water feels, is it hot or cold? This will focus your mind on the now. The more you practise the more natural it will be to focus your attention and as other thoughts breakthrough you will be able to re-focus your mind on the present.
Breathing exercises can also help to focus your attention on the now. If your attention and thoughts are being pulled to a negative emotion. Stop centre yourself and concentrate on your breathing. Think about how breathing in feels, is the air cold or warm, feel your chest expand and relax. Initially thoughts will creep back into your mind. However you can control the impact these have on you by being focused in the present.
“Carried away by our worries, we`re unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down, we believe we can’t really be happy just yet – that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. We speculate, dream strategise, and plan for these ‘conditions of happiness’ continually chase after that future even while we sleep. We may have fears about the future because we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, and these worries and anxieties keep us from enjoying being here now.”
By Thich Nhat Hanh