What is Mindfulness?

Visualizing mindfulness (366/194 July 12, 2012)

Visualizing mindfulness (366/194 July 12, 2012) (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

Have you ever eaten a chocolate bar whilst day dreaming? Afterwards you see the empty chocolate bar packet and realise that you do not remember eating it, or remember how it tasted.

Have you driven a car then realised at the end of your journey that you cannot remember anything about the route?

These are example of automatic thinking or behaviour. Your mind is sort of on ‘automatic pilot’, you are ‘not present’ in your own life.

You often fail to notice what is happening around you or fail to take notice of what your body is telling you. A lot of your thoughts are self critical and toxic. You are easily distracted, often by thoughts of the past. You may spend time regretting or feeling guilty about things that you have done. You may also be fearful about future events, anticipating what may happen or expecting the worst.

This is the mind that comes to work with you. Is it any wonder that you do not always operate with maximum productivity?

Mindfulness addresses all this. It makes you more aware of your thoughts and feelings, but without judging or self-criticism. Mindfulness is a way of seeing clearly what is going on in your life. It does not miraculously remove the pressures of life and work, but it does mean that you can respond in a more positive and beneficial way.

Mindfulness reduces stress and this has a positive affect on the health of your body as well as your mental health.

Lots of actions are done habitually, and often unconsciously. Mindfulness allows you to step away from your unconscious emotional and physical reactions to everyday events. You cultivate clarity, understanding and insight.

Some other benefits of mindfulness include:

  •  Slowing down and feeling more relaxed.
  • Coping effectively with complex or difficult situations.
  • You become more creative
  • Feeling balanced and more harmonious with life.
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