We’ve all heard about mindfulness, and the benefits this plays to our lives. Whether you believe it works or not, it is a huge part of our everyday wellbeing nowadays.
I learnt a lot about mindfulness about a year ago, when we had wellbeing sessions at work. I attended a mindfulness session which I found to be rather intriguing. We were asked to focus for two separate 15 minute intervals, on nothing but the here and now. We closed our eyes, and were asked to focus our minds to the present, listening to the silence around us, and trying not to let our minds wonder. It was difficult at first, but I slowly started to focus, and may even have nodded off at one point!
I sometimes struggle with my thoughts, wondering back to the past and worrying about things that can’t be changed, or even thinking and about the future, and worrying about things that I can’t control. When I lived in Canada a few years ago, I often went to Yoga sessions. When it came to meditation at the end, I found it so difficult to concentrate. My mind couldn’t focus on the present, and there I would lay, thinking about the past, or wondering what I was going to have for dinner! But why is it so difficult for us to switch off?
It’s very easy to get distracted when you are purposely trying to concentrate, but I have come to realise that it is vital we let our minds relax for even just a small moment. Our minds are very important tools, and we should treat it with the same respect as we would treat any other vital thing in our lives. We should be the master of our minds, not the slaves, and this is why I think mindfulness is important to our wellbeing.
Mindfulness teaches us to appreciate the here and now, it teaches us to relax and mute our thoughts, and just be present in the moment. Five minutes a day of mindfulness can go a long way, and is something I am still trying to practice and incorporate every day.
Small activities like reading a book, or listening to a podcast can help us to focus.
There are many books and apps out there that talk about mindfulness. There are guided meditation apps for everyday use to help us focus our minds. Some may find them useful, some may not – and whether or not they are proven to work the options are there to follow.
I have now found mindfulness through the simple form of just taking a moment in the day, where there is quiet and calm and simply just focusing on that very moment.
It is still a struggle at times, but I know that when I do it, and in that moment, I am transforming my wellbeing.
Do you practice mindfulness?