Mindfulness is a buzz word at the moment, but what does it mean and is it something new? Read on to find out more…
What Is Mindfulness?
Being mindful is about being aware of the present. It’s about connecting with what’s happening around you, your senses and your body.
We spend so much time worry about the details of life and being anxious about the future. Mindfulness helps you connect with your surroundings, other people’s feelings, your thoughts and your actions. It’s about becoming self-aware.
Is Mindfulness Something New?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation, something which has been around for centuries. It’s simply awareness. You can be mindful in any situation.
Mindfulness reminds me of the poem “Leisure” written by Welsh poet W. H. Davis in 1911:
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
Davis was warning that “the hectic pace of modern life has a detrimental effect on the human spirit”.
The origins of mindfulness are linked to the religions Hinduism and Buddism, to the practice of yoga and more recently to non-religious meditation. Yet this poem shows the principles of mindfulness have quite likely been present in most societies down the ages.
How To Practice Mindfulness
Most people who practice yoga will be introduced to mindfulness. However mindfulness can be part of your daily life.
Check in with your thoughts and become aware of your surroundings from time to time as you go about your day. Are your thoughts in the present, or are you too worried about day-to-day tasks or something that may or may not happen in the future.
Try to take in your surroundings, listen to the people who talk to you, notice your breathing and keep your mind on the here and now.
In the yoga studio, think about how you’re standing and be aware of your breathe. Try to empty your mind of thoughts that distract from your yoga practice.
Do you practice mindfulness and does it help with your day? I’d love to hear your opinion…