What is Mindfulness?
Everybody has the ability to be mindful, regardless of the speed of your day-to-day life, the length of your to-do list, or the noise of your environment. In fact, mindfulness allows you to deal with these stresses, offering insight and awareness; you just need to learn how to access it.
Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment, to tune into your location, your activity and your intention, without being distracted by the external environment. It’s a common misconception that you have to be in a meditative pose to be mindful; mindfulness can be practised at any time, in any position. It’s easy to flit from one task to another during our busy days, but mindfulness encourages us to be more productive by being present in the moment. Flitting from one task to another damages our work, reducing quality and diverting our focus.
Think of mindfulness as attention training — by being in the present moment and returning when our focus diverts, we are exercising our mind; strengthening our ability to produce great results, and regulating our attention control. The goal of mindfulness is not to empty our minds or to think of ‘nothing’ — that’s a space called mediation, which is equally as valuable. Mindfulness helps us to think of ‘something’, that something being the task on which we wish to focus, whether that’s work, craft, eating or taking time out to focus on our body and minds; our physical sensations and our thoughts and emotions.
It may feel like we are always busy, but the joy of mindfulness is that it can be undertaken at any time — pause to feel your feet on the ground, focus on your food as you are eating, listen to the sounds around you as you walk to work, turn off the radio and be present with the task you are doing. Try it — create an opportunity to feel the strength of your mind when it’s allowed to settle in one place.