We have all heard the latest buzzword and hype around Mindfulness and Meditation, but do we really know what this means and why is it so great? Keeping it simple, mindfulness means bringing our awareness back to the present moment and all that we are experiencing; we normally do this by focusing on something like the breath or an object. The reason there is so much talk about Mindfulness is because it truly is amazing and life changing! There are so many reasons (far too many to list here) including some really interesting science facts, why mindfulness practices and meditation is so good for us.
Life is really only ever happening NOW, but most of us live up in our heads, disconnected from our bodies, living in the past or the future. From the moment we wake until the second our head hits the pillow, we find ourselves carried away by a noisy mind journey which keeps us totally in our HEADS! If we aren’t aware,’ our monkey mind works like crazy on ‘auto pilot’ and we have no real control over the thoughts we have, the type of stories we tell ourselves and the experience we co-create because of it. Mindfulness is the practice of slowing things down, turning off the auto pilot, and learning how to reconnect with the present moment. In doing so we can observe the chatter in our minds, and begin to comprehend just what kind of story we are running and how it’s shaping our reality.
It is a scientific fact that our thoughts directly shape our physical experience - a stressful thought creates a stress response in the body and an imagined or perceived stress is no different to a real one, the brain knows no different! So when you realise this, it’s suddenly no surprise why many of us are experiencing persistent health problems, anxiety and discomfort - our thoughts are literally making us unwell.
Mindfulness is where we start! And before you think “but I don’t have time for half an hours meditation, I’m too busy etc”, let me tell you that mindfulness meditation and exercises are so much easier to integrate than you realise. In fact let your busy lives become your mindfulness tools! One mindful breath has the power to shift our awareness. You could use your mobile phone as a prompt/a reminder to just stop during your busy day and take notice of the sensations in your body... Or how about setting an intention to fully enjoy your morning shower without getting caught up in the noisy story of whats going to happen in your day ahead. Make mindfulness work for you!
Mindfulness is a practice we take with us everywhere. Slowly and patiently with practice and intention we can bring more awareness to what we are doing and begin to take control of our lives and our mental and physical health.
When we use the mind in its conscious and creative capacity that’s when the magic really happens. As Carl Jung said, “Until the unconscious becomes conscious it will continue to direct our lives and we will call it fate”. Let’s get conscious, let’s regain control of our monkey minds and switch off the auto pilot.