What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a valuable life skill that can help us direct our attention to the present moment with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Rather than worrying about the past or what might happen in the future, Mindfulness trains us to respond skilfully to whatever is happening right now, without judgment.
In essence, Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing what is happening in our lives with clarity.
But why is this important?
The Benefits of Mindfulness
In our busy and hectic modern day lives, it is very easy to become distracted, overwhelmed, stressed or worried. Mindfulness is a way of bringing us back to appreciate the present moment and purposefully concentrating on what is happening around us. Through simple meditation practices, we can train ourselves to pay attention in a specific way bringing greater awareness of behaviour, feeling and thinking patterns. Regular Mindfulness practice has been shown to calm and relax the body, reducing cortisol levels associated with stress. In addition, science has proven that being more Mindful in every day life enhances positivity and happiness, as well as improving memory, attention, resilience and empathy for others.
Thus, Mindfulness offers tangible benefits in health, relationships and every day life as we learn to step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional reactions and respond more effectively to different situations.
Who should practice Mindfulness?
Anyone, of any age, can benefit from practicing Mindfulness. The Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) is promoting Mindfulness across the UK education sector to improve the resilience and well being of young people. Many large organisations like Google and Apple actively promote Mindfulness at Work as they believe that effective leadership is how well we use our minds and interact with others. Parents and teachers can benefit from Mindfulness as it enables better communication and relationships with young people.
Regular Mindfulness practice has been scientifically proven to:
- Enhance mental and physical well being
- Reduce chronic pain, stress, anxiety and depression
- Improve mood and emotional reaction
- Improve memory, creativity, attention span and resilience
- Increase emotional intelligence and brain function
- Improve relationships and communication
- Create more positive environments at home and work
- Boost the immune system resulting less sick days
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