What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simple meditation focusing on the present moment, while remaining calm and accepting feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Its knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves moment by moment. When we allow ourselves to see the present moment clearly it can change the way we see ourselves and our lives. By living in the moment we can learn to live with less anxiety, more acceptance, and more appreciation as well as being more focused on the things important to you.
Mindfulness allows you to become aware of your thoughts either negative or positive and the emotional responses associated with those thoughts. It allows clarity so you can see how negative thoughts are impacting on your life. By standing back from our thoughts and being aware of their patterns you can notice that thoughts are just mental events which cannot take control of us. Today we are often struggling to keep up with the constant demands of the modern world and being more aware helps you notice signs of stress and anxiety earlier, helping you do something positive about it before it develops into something more serious.
Even noticing small things such as the food we eat, the sounds of water trickling, your breath or just simply how you feel in our body can have amazing benefits. These small things have a huge power to interrupt our subconscious mind or automatic response mode and gives a fresh perspective on life.
What to expect from a mindfulness meditation session
Mindfulness isn’t new it’s been around for thousands of years rooted in Buddhist origins. Mindfulness meditation is not complicated and it doesn’t take a lot of time but it does needs training and practice, most clients start with a few minutes then gradually increase. It’s best to pick a regular time where you can decide to be aware of these delicate sensations. People of all ages can practice mindfulness, it’s simple and can be practiced anywhere.
A meditation session involves focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, bit by bit, to let go. You will come to realise that thoughts come and go of their own accord and you can watch as they appear in your mind then disappear again like a puff of smoke. Both positive and negative thoughts are transient, you can decide how much time and effort you want to spend on those fleeting thoughts and if you want to act on them or not. Meditation works by soothing and clarifying the mind, allowing innovative ideas flourish. It reveals just how much of life is controlled by habitual ways and showing you how to pursue a more creative and productive path.
How does Mindfulness Meditation help?
- Anxiety, stress, depression, exhaustion and irritability all decrease with regular sessions of meditation. People who regularly meditate are happier, content and less likely to suffer from psychological distress.
- Mindfulness can reduce pain and the emotional reactions to it.
- Improves mood and quality of life.
- Enhances mental and physical wellbeing by improving the body’s natural healing systems.
- Mindfulness improves working memory, creativity, attention span and reaction speeds. It also enhances mental and physical stamina and resilience.
- Meditation improves emotional intelligence.
- Meditation improves heart and circulatory health by reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of hypertension.
- Meditation improves the immune system.
- Mindfulness enhances decision making
- Mindfulness may reduce ageing at the cellular level by promoting chromosomal health and resilience.
- Meditation enhances brain function, it increases grey matter in areas associated with self-awareness, empathy, self-control and attention. It calms the parts of the brain that produce stress hormones and builds those areas that lift mood and promote learning. It can reduce some of the thinning of certain areas of the brain that naturally occurs with ageing.