What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way to bring health, wellbeing and vibrancy to our lives. Through mindfulness we are wholeheartedly present and fully alive in each moment. It is a practical skill which involves consciously slowing down and being present in each moment, allowing us to accept our experience without judgement. It is a process whereby we deliberately pay attention to our thoughts, emotions or physical sensations in a way that is non-judgemental and supportive to our wellbeing.
Mindfulness means coming home to an awareness of our senses (sight, sound, taste, touch). We find ways to anchor into the present moment through our breath, body, physical sensations, or by noticing the world around us and what we are doing right now. This is the key to present moment awareness.
Through becoming fully aware and anchored into the present moment we can learn to step back and be the friendly observer of our thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations. We learn to let all of these inner experiences come and go in their own way. When we notice that our minds we are caught up in past regrets or worrying about the future we can learn through mindfulness to become less identified with these thoughts. We realize that they don’t need to overwhelm or define us in any way. Thoughts come and go and we can learn to let them come and go moment by moment.
Practicing mindfulness helps us to engage more wholeheartedly in our daily lives. Often, we are so busy making plans, thinking about the future or getting stuck in the past that we are everywhere else except for the present moment. When we slow down and find ways to anchor into the here and now. It helps us to open up to the simple pleasures of life, whether that is a warm cup of tea in the belly, the sounds of nature, or connecting with someone that matters to us. This allows us to open to experiences of contentment, wellbeing, and happiness in our lives.
Mindfulness meditation is over two thousand years old and is rooted within the Buddhist tradition. Today, mindfulness has become better understood in Western society and it is now recognised for its’ universal benefits in supporting both physical and mental health, thus greatly improving our overall wellbeing.