The art of mindfulness involves being present and aware of what is happening to us in the present moment. It is a mental state of being that’s achieved by focusing our awareness on that moment, while calmly noticing and accepting our own feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations . The roots are from Buddhism and meditation, but it can be practiced by anyone regardless of their spiritual beliefs. (www.mind.org.uk ) It doesn’t have to be based on meditation or yoga as is commonly believed. Although there are many people who do feel a deep connection when practicing this.
Mindfulness can be walking in nature, playing music, a warm relaxing bath, painting, drawing, keeping a journal, breathing exercises, sharing, forgiveness, plus many more. It is the art of connecting to ourselves and becoming aware of our thoughts, feelings and noticing our bodily sensations and what they are telling us. It’s about valuing the time we have for ourselves and enjoying those moments of calmness and peace in an ever-hectic schedule.
Mindfulness can help individuals become more self-aware, feel calmer and less stressed, and as such can help us feel more able in choosing how to respond to those thoughts and feelings, enabling us to be kinder towards ourselves. (www.Mind.org.uk) Using mindfulness can help us to manage anxiety, depression and feelings of stress and can be used in conjunction with talking therapies and counselling.
The way we think and what we think about can affect how we feel and act, developing mindfulness can help create space in those moments so that we can reflect on the situation and react more calmly.
It takes time to practice mindfulness and every one of us will find our own path. So, the next time you take a walk in the park or have alone time, notice what comes up for you as you connect with the activity.