The Benefits of Mindfulness
When we talk about mindfulness it can trigger different meanings to different people. It can be as a means by which to gain short-term relief from anxiety, depression or stress, while others presume mindfulness to be a cure for health problems or, recipe for inner peace and enhanced concentration.
However, while mindfulness can support these common social issues, the primary aim of mindfulness practice is not to achieve any of these. Mindfulness is an Eastern practice to train our mind. It is a practice that cultivates sustained conscious wakefulness or presence.
Mindfulness is a life discipline for raising awareness of ‘what is’.
Practicing mindfulness is like building up a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Only rather than building up a muscle, practicing mindfulness strengthens our mind.
In Eastern culture, the mind is not merely about thoughts and beliefs, as we perceive it in the West. Rather, the mind is conscious awareness itself. We may bring awareness into our thinking so we can critique our thoughts with accuracy. In mindfulness, the mind is not thought, but rather, conscious awareness, so mindfulness encourages us to learn from our own experience.
Mindfulness is a life-enhancing practice that enables us to expand our conscious awareness and general presence. Mindful awareness allows us to become more sensitive to what is occurring in the present moment, both within ourselves and also in the outside world.
Mindfulness can be defined as "intentionally bringing awareness to the present moment in a non-judgmental way". This skill is developed through engaging with systematic training in regular meditation practices, and also bringing mindful awareness and acceptance into daily life and work. Mindfulness promotes a way of being that helps us to take care of ourselves and live healthier lives. Mindfulness is based on meditation practices from ancient spiritual traditions, but is universal in nature. Contemporary training in mindfulness gives participants the opportunity to learn and apply these practices and principles in entirely secular ways. For thousands of people all around the world, from all religions and nationalities, mindfulness practice helps people to nurture inner peace within themselves, improve concentration and general well-being. Mindfulness is commonly held in high professional regard for its physical, mental and emotional health benefits. However, due to poor teaching and attached cultural stigma, this straightforward and useful practice is often avoided, resisted or even rejected in its entirety.
As children, most of us are taught how to remember information and store knowledge in school. However, not all of us are taught how to strengthen our mind and resultantly manage our thinking (especially throughout much of Western culture).
The practice of training our mind expands our ability to detach from thought, emotion and body sensation enough to witness them. In turn, this allows us to better regulate our emotions, train our brains to focus more efficiently and teach our bodies to de-stress when we lose our focus.
Ironically, when we master mindfulness practice we often do find relief from anxiety or depression, cure health problems alongside creating a far deeper sense of inner peace and disciplined concentration.
So while the aim of mindfulness is to train our conscious awareness to witness what is occurring in the now, the practice often results in improved balance and happiness in the context of our daily lives.
Now... you have read a little bit about the philosophy and meaning of Mindfulness - download "our 6 simple mindful exercises" below :-)
These basic exercises introduce you to the different styles and Mindful techniques - so what are you waiting for give it a go ......
You can also head over to our resources page on the eMotion in Motion website to find other Mindful activities, worksheets and handouts. https://www.emotion-in-motion.org/