Introduction to MindfulnessMindfulness is the powerful practice of being present and living in the moment. It is a conscious decision to be aware of or bring attention to this moment in time with curiosity and without judgement.
Thanks to its incredible health benefits, ease of practice and positive impact on participants life's, Mindfulness is increasing in popularity and has received much positive press recently. It is recommended by the department of health and also by the National Institute for clinical excellence.
What are the benefits of practising mindfulness?
People who regularly implement mindfulness into their lives may find many physical and mental health benefits such as:
- Feeling less stressed and experiencing more moments of calm and relaxation.
- More energy and enthusiasm for life.
- More self-acceptance and confidence with yourself, Just the way you are.
- Less risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction and stress.
- More compassion for yourself and others
- Feeling more connected and balanced within relationships.
Who should practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is for everyone and all ages. There's a lot of information online and support groups in your local community. No special equipment is required, and most of the practices are done in a seated, still, position so people with reduced mobility or health problems can get involved and benefit. The application of mindfulness is beneficial to most situations such as parenting training, treatment of mental health, pain management, in schools and as part of well-being therapies. Many big companies and top sports teams include mindfulness within their training and day to day lives to manage stress and increase productivity.
How to introduce mindfulness into your life?
Technically you don't need any special equipment to begin practising mindfulness. You could start this very second just as you are, by drawing your attention to what is happening at this very moment. Notice any sights, sounds, feelings, smells and acknowledge them all, just as they are and without judging them or trying to change them. In essence, this is what mindfulness is, not trying to change the past or worrying about the future.
The reality is our minds are not this simple and mindfulness can take practice. The best introduction to mindfulness would be to start with a good mindfulness book, a mindfulness app on your phone with guided exercises or a local mindfulness course. These three resources will arm you with practices and techniques to try and quieten your mind, accept what is, focus on your breathing and various other specific lessons to help you on your chosen journey. Reading about mindfulness is motivating, but the only way to live mindfully and reap all the health and mental benefits is to practise mindfulness regularly.
What does the NHS say about Mindfulness?
Starting something new is often scary and it is very common to feel a bit sceptical of something you have no experience of. I have included a link to the NHS's information page about mindfulness here.
Take the NHS Mood Self Assessment quiz now
Online mindfulness courses recommended by the NHS.
How do you practice mindfulness if you are a busy parent?
Mindfulness does not have to take up a lot of time. Regular formal practice can be done in as little as ten minutes every day. The more you practice and apply mindfulness the more natural and beneficial it becomes. If your a busy parent then mindfulness can genuinely benefit you and your family dynamics. check out our post 'Practical Mindfulness For Busy Parents'
Could Mindfulness help me Sleep better?
There is nothing more debilitating to our physical and mental health than long term sleep deprivation. We need to sleep to rest and recover. Mindfulness can help with your quality of sleep and how quickly you fall asleep in the first place. To find out more about how mindfulness could help improve your sleep and learn techniques to beat insomnia read our post on 'Sleep Relaxation For Better Sleep'
What Books can I buy to introduce me to Mindfulness?