It All Starts With Being Mindful

by | Stuff To Read

The #1 question people ask is “What is Mindfulness and what benefits will Mindfulness give me?”  There are a number of benefits that people gain by incorporating Mindfulness into their lives and with integrating the various Mindful practices into our daily routines, they instill these benefits for the long haul.  Mindfulness is not a quick fix program and will deliver its benefits over time.  Just like a personal fitness program, everyone will reap the rewards by practicing.  If one wishes to maintain those benefits, regular practice is essential, much like any physical fitness program.

So what is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is experiencing life through thoughts/images/inner dialogue, emotions, and body sensations with a moment by moment conscious awareness in a non-judgmental manner.  This may sound way out there and complicated but essentially Mindfulness is being aware of when your mind wanders away from what is in front of you in the present moment. Then when you start to beat yourself up for something that happened in the past, reliving an old situation or worrying about a future event, you can then gently guide your attention back to what you were doing before it wandered.

Most of us spend a lot time in the past or future and not really in the present. For example, many people spend a lot of time in the past going over scenes that prove they are inferior or unworthy.  While others spend a lot of time worrying about some catastrophic event which they are convinced will unfold at some point in the future.

Others still get caught up focusing on everything around them that is negative and pay little attention to what is presently good.  Mindfulness allows for a different path to follow and it’s through practicing some simple mental exercises that we can train our minds to notice when it wanders off the present and gently guide its focus onto something neutral or good.

Science has proven that when we conduct these mental exercises repeatedly our brains develop new neural pathways making this way of thinking more accessible and automatic.