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Mindfulness

The concept of mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism but is becoming increasingly popular in western culture. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your awareness on the present moment. Most people are living their lives in the future or the past. The practice of past and future thinking can create a lot of stress, anxiety and unhappiness in life. The reality is that regardless of how much time you spend thinking about the future, you cannot affect it and no matter how much time you spend ruminating the past you cannot change it. Of course forward planning and goal setting is necessary in life and can also be achieved through mindfulness. Take time to plan your day and write this down being mindful as you do it. Then work through the tasks you have set. The only moment we ever have is the present and for most people that is not part of their awareness. So how can you start practicing mindfulness today and experience you life in the present moment?

Mindfulness

SLOW DOWN

Become consciously aware of your self and your movements. Purposely slow down everything from your speech to your walk. What are you rushing for? To reach the next moment? To complete the next task? They will become your present moment soon enough, so slow down and be aware of the moment you are now in.

FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION

This exercise can be used regardless of the task you are performing. It can be useful when doing a mundane task, which you usually wish to rush through, like washing up dishes. Become aware of each process as you turn on the tap, feel the water running, fill up the sink and start to place the dishes in it. Observe your body’s movements, feel each item as you pick it up and wash it and maintain your attention on this moment. Should you find your mind begins to wander, just gently bring it back into the present and refocus on what you are doing. Should someone distract you, allow that moment to occur and then bring your attention back onto the task you are performing. This can take some time to get used to but daily practice will find it becoming easier.

MEDITATION

The daily practice of meditation can increase your mindfulness. Please see my article for a simple breathing meditation to get you started.

BENEFITS

The benefits of mindfulness are many. It can reduce stress and anxiety; decrease depression symptoms; increase your self-awareness; allow you to live your life in the present and greatly contribute to your happiness. You only have one life and that can only ever be lived in the present moment. Start making mindfulness practice part of your daily life today and see the benefits for yourself.

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