If you are new to mindfulness practice and are wondering what it is exactly, why bother , when and how to do it, I hope this helps you to make a start. If you have been practicing mindfulness for some time, I hope you find something new to add to your ability to be present.
Click here to download the document containing 12 simple yet wonderful mindfulness exercises I heartily recommend.
What is Mindfulness? Does it mean I have to meditate?
There is a lot of myths and misconceptions about this thing called “mindfulness” including thinking that to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness you must meditate. This is not so. While meditation is great, it does not work for everyone. There are many other ways to start practicing everyday mindfulness and you will find several of these on when the pages that follow.
So what is the difference between mindfulness and meditation. Though these two words seem interchangeable, they are not the same.
Mindfulness is a mindset; meditation is a way of training to achieve it.
Mindfulness is the quality of simply being present — the experience of being open and aware in the moment, without judgment or criticism, focusing your mind on the present rather than wandering. When you are distracted, unaware of what you are doing, the end product suffers. Mindfulness is not just a state of mind — a lack of focus affects the quality of your work or whatever you are doing in that moment. How you do something matters more than what you do – for example, just think back to the last time you did something in a rush or in an angry mood and you get the picture!
But in addition to improving focus, for many the main benefit of being mindful is that it reduces stress and anxiety. Most anxiety is caused when your mind is in the past or the future. If you are imagining a horrible future, things going wrong, running scary ‘what if’ thoughts, doom and gloom mind projections which grow ever more real as you run them over and over in your minds, you experience that fearful state.
When you ruminate on past failings, past wrongs and times we struggled, when you relive painful events, you relive the painful feelings also. Just like that imagined painful future the past too can be distorted and amplified – where the mind goes the body follows. And as you no doubt know, anxiety and stress significantly impacts our physical health including weakening the immune system, increasing the risk of major health conditions and reducing longevity.
If greater physical well-being and calmness isn’t enough motivation for you, scientific research shows that mindfulness techniques improve self-control, objectivity, tolerance, enhanced flexibility, concentration, and empathy — you gain mental clarity.
Practicing Mindfulness Exercises – a dozen ways you for you…Click this link for the exercises which start on page 2!