Mindfulness is a way of intentionally paying attention to the present moment. Qualities such as kindness, acceptance and curiosity are also infused. Living mindfully teaches a person to live in the moment in enjoyable way, instead of worrying about the past or the future. The past has already happened, and the future hasn’t happened yet. Mindfulness shows the individual how to live in the present moment in a harmonious way.
Mindfulness was developed in ancient times in both eastern and western cultures. The word mindfulness comes from the Indian word Sati, which means attention, awareness and remembering.
Attention is focused awareness, awareness is being conscious of your experiences and remembering is remembering to pay attention of your experiences.
Mindfulness Meditation is a focused meditation. Focussing on your own thoughts allows you to understand their habitual patterns. Emotions and decisions made can be hugely impacted by an individual’s thoughts. Mindfulness meditation usually focuses on one or more of the following:
1. The feeling of your own breathing.
2. Your senses.
3. Your body.
6. Whatever is most predominant in your awareness.
Mindfulness has a wide variety of benefits when practiced daily. These include:
1. Allowing space to heal.
2. Greater relaxation.
3. Higher productivity.
4. Developing greater wisdom.
5. Improved immune system.
6. Reduced pain.
7. Calming the mind.
8. The ability to understand individual emotions.
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. (nhs.uk)
Becoming more aware of the present moment allows the practitioner to rediscover experiences that were previously taken for granted. It also allows the practitioner to become aware of their thoughts and feelings. It also allows the practitioner to see how we can become entangled in that stream in ways that are not helpful.
It may not work for everybody, however there is evidence to suggest its positive effects in health, education, prisons and workplaces, but it’s important to realise that research is still going on in all these fields.
Mindfulness for Dummies
Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing