Intentional, non – judgemental awareness
What is Mindfulness?
Being mindful means paying close attention to what’s happening in the moment. Put simply, mindfulness is about being fully present here and now.
Mindfulness is non-judgemental, open-hearted, inviting and observing whatever arises in your awareness. It is cultivated by paying attention, being conscious of the here and now, and thoughtfully focusing on whatever arises in the present moment, either inside or outside of us.
By intentionally practising mindfulness, deliberately paying more careful moment-by-moment attention to life, individuals can live more fully and less on ‘automatic pilot’ – thus, being more present for their own lives.
Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, mindfulness has entered the mainstream in recent years. Individuals, businesses and various other organizations have adopted mindfulness practices, recognizing its physical and mental health benefits.
Benefits of Practising Mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation can be described as a period of mindfulness with certain prescribed parameters. Although the details tend to vary between one specific technique and another, the general concept that you spend a given period of time – usually, just a few minutes – going through a set routine of mindfulness exercises. These might involve closing your eyes and exploring the perceptions of your other senses, and/or directing your attention to each part of your body in turn.
I regularly encourage my clients to meditate each day, even if only for 3-5 minutes. They have found this to make a huge difference to their stress levels and their ability to focus and get stuff done. Mindfulness meditation is not automatically the best path for everyone, but the results from an increasing body of psychological studies consistently show it is extremely effective for most people.
Directing your attention in a deliberate way to your experience of the present moment increases activity in specific areas of the brain. One effect of this is that when you choose to focus on input from your senses, your consciousness is not dwelling on subjects that cause you to feel worried, judgemental or self-critical. Another effect is that over time, because of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to physically adapt its structure), practising mindfulness can improve your ability to learn and remember by increasing the density of your grey matter.
There are plenty of times when we are being ‘naturally mindful’ without making any conscious effort to exist in the present moment. Activities such as playing sport, spending quality time with loved ones, and being creative in ways you love – such as painting or singing – usually cause you to be fully present, with all your senses engaged, and living completely in the ‘now’.
The benefits of mindfulness can be noticed very quickly, with major changes occurring in the brain after just a few weeks of consistent practice. Mindfulness helps us clear the mind of distractions, enhances communication and helps us tap into what is deeply meaningful to us at a core level. This is because being mindful and present compels us to listen intently rather than think about what we are going to say next, ensuring a deeper sense of connection through our conversations.
Being mindful allows us to tame the ‘monkey mind’ of unruly thoughts, and helps us to think along efficient, discerning lines rather than spiral off into unresourceful, habitual thinking patterns. It is also particularly beneficial for creative people, because it moves us to a place of openness that facilitates the state known as ‘flow’.
I am a firm believer that mindfulness is a key ingredient for bringing about change in a person’s life. For this reason, in our coaching sessions you will be invited and encouraged to develop various daily practices that cultivate a more conscious way of being in the world and engaging with life, moment by moment.
Would you like to know more?
Please get in touch. I look forward to speaking with you.