Mindfulness is a growing phenomenon. Now, before you say airy fairy, esoteric BS, consider that scientific researchers have found mindfulness to be a key element for reducing and promoting happiness which is why Shian-Ling, Moria J. Smoski, and Clive J. Rubins, 2011, cited mindfulness as being;
"A miracle by which we master and restore ourselves".
So, where is your mindfulness?
Did you look in the mirror this morning?
You did? Great!
But were you mindful of, or even notice… YOU?
Did you really see the person that is the TRUE YOU?
Were you mindful of the person that is YOU?
Or have you lost the real you somewhere in this fast-paced life we live?
We all get lost at times. But, there is an ancient practice becoming increasingly popular in western societies that can help YOU.
If you guessed - Mindfulness, you are correct!
Noteworthy, even some suit type people responsible for large corporates practice mindfulness. And they report that it helps them to be more effective, thoughtful and considerate leaders of industry.
And yes - they are highly successful in their fields.
And more successful than they otherwise might have been thanks to their unashamed practise of mindfulness.
So, if you are thinking about what you can get out of mindfulness, let me assure you that there are huge benefits. Read on and learn about the enormous and magnificent things mindfulness can do for you!
The world today is increasingly fast-paced, and life is so busy!
Just like a bullet train, we are so preoccupied with responsibilities that we fail to notice ourselves.
Let me ask you again,
Did you look in the mirror this morning?
Are you sure?
I mean, are you sure that you saw the REAL YOU and APPRECIATED YOURSELF!
You prepare breakfast while getting ready for work.
And maybe get the kids ready for school as well.
Your restful night’s sleep is but a distant memory – or, not even a memory by now...is it?
Stress is building!
You try to tidy the house as you constantly check the time for your work.
And maybe for the kids school.
You try to plan after work activities, dinner, and so on.
And maybe after school activities as well.
Woohoo… more stress!!
You make plans for the day and try to catch up with friends, and family.
You do catch up with friends, don’t you?
And, family? Who?
And, you strive to become better at work, while still dealing with your family's demands.
Oh, and your employer’s demands.
Before you know it, it is the same time the following day. And the same roller coaster has begun!
But in all this mad rush, the question is,
"How have you, and how are you taking care of yourself?"
I am not talking about buying new clothes. Or a facial. Or a pedicure.
Those are just short term external feel good surface coatings.
But, how much of what is happening around you do you take notice of?
You must have discovered by now that when you are so occupied and stressed by your routine activities, you tend to lose it. You forget details, and sometimes big things, and gradually fade away leaving your responsibilities - your only focus.
Where are you baby?
Come on! I mean what has happened to the REAL YOU?
Mindfulness can help YOU!
The emergence of mindfulness has a firm root in Buddhism. In fact, much research considers the English word "mindfulness" to be a simple explanation of the Buddhist concept “Sati”.
Promoted for centuries as a part of Buddhism, Hinduism and other spiritual tradition, mindfulness health in Western medical and mental health contexts, is now increasingly considered as an effective antidote against common forms of psychological distress, anxiety, fear, anger, worry, and so on.
And mindfulness is growing!
Still, it is a recent phenomenon.
Why is it that so called technological advanced Western societies are so slow to catch up? Or don’t even recognize such awesome health remedies in the first instance?
But I digress.
Mindfulness is a mental state of purposely focusing your attention on the present moments and accepting them without judgement or blame.
Mindfulness can be achieved by channelling your focus into your present moment and calmly accepting your feelings, thoughts, and sensations - all without judgement.
Mindfulness is a technique to call back our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness, so we can live happily.
Which is why messrs Shian-Ling, Moria J. Smoski, and Clive J. Rubins, 2011, cited mindfulness as being "a miracle by which we master and restore ourselves".
Recently, psychotherapists have recommended mindfulness meditation as a treatment for people with problems such as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mental ill-health, conflicts as well as those who want to improve their well-being.
By indulging in a regular practice of mindfulness, your cognitive awareness will be heightened, and you will find it easier to savor the pleasures of life as they occur.
According to research, many people who practice mindfulness tend to live a satisfied life by letting go of past regrets, worries about success or failure, living every moment to the fullest as though it was their last.
Practicing mindfulness empties the mind and gives the person practicing it a good sense of self-worth, fulfillment, and satisfaction like never before.
It is a life tool that can positively impact the quality of life you live and of those around you.
Continuous practice of will equip you with tolerance, wisdom, and understanding necessary for working with any team or group, in any organization or gathering.
Mindfulness, assists people to have an open calmed mind and accept their past and present experience rather than living in the past with a negative self-image and self-doubt.
You can easily practice mindfulness by yourself, anywhere and at any time. If, however, you find it difficult to focus, being guided by a coach initially, to develop the discipline to relax, focus and still yourself will assist you to develop this excellent skill.
When it comes to practising, there are lots of techniques that can be applied to achieving a pure peace of mind, state of focus, and alertness by purposely focusing on your thoughts, and sensation of the moment without judgement.
Thereby, allowing the mind to be aware of the present only.
Here are some techniques for practising that are suitable for beginners to build up the momentum that comes with mindfulness.
This is a technique of focusing, which is a great tool in mindfulness. In this technique, one pretends they have never seen an object before while paying close attention to:
If you try this technique, you could also have your partner or a friend hand you an object after you have relaxed without you knowing and seeing what it is.
Need I say, keep your eyes closed?
This popular exercise teaches you to take note of some body sensation such as tingling, but rather than focusing on it, you let it go and pretend it is not there.
This technique requires you to focus on your five senses and acknowledge what they present you. For example, your sight, hearing, smells, taste, and touches. Acknowledge them without judgement and let them go.
The mindfulness technique of emotions allows you to experience some scenes that are filled with emotions such as joy, frustration and anger after which you accept these emotions without pity, blame or any judgement and let them go.
Covering the techniques to develop mindfulness is outside the scope of this blog. However, rather than leave you on a limb with great knowledge, I have included a an easy exercise to get you started.
You can also incorporate the concentration technique above as well.
Now that you know about mindfulness and some of the various techniques involved, listening to music meditation recordings is a good way to start. There are an abundance of these on Youtube. Just search for mediation music and make sure that you use those that are benign with nice soft subtle sounds.
Going to a session handled by a coach may also help you if, as mentioned previously, you are finding it difficult to get started.
To get you started, here is a basic mindfulness exercise that you can do on your own. Aim for 5 minutes to start with and as you get better progressively increase the time you practise.
Any time you get distracted, return to your formal starting position of breathing (Step 3), then start to expand again.
You can also achieve mindfulness through informal practice, anywhere and at any time, and still achieve a prominent focus on your life's present moments by trying to live in the present.
Try to practice informal mindfulness anywhere and anytime. Remember the old adage "Practise Makes Perfect".
“The mind is just like a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand".
While mindfulness stems from ancient Oriental every day practice, Western medicine is playing slow catch up, also starting to recognise mindfulness as being an effective remedy for various treatments.
Mindfulness is growing as a highly regarded technique and skill in Western societies. This is recognised by some leading business leaders, who practice and swear by mindfulness making them better and more effective leaders.
Mindfulness does requires constant and regular practice. The more you practice though, the more positive effect it will have on your whole being.
If you are ready for a more serious commitment, you can contact me here for a coaching session that will take you to the next level. Otherwise, you can always start by practising the techniques and exercise mentioned above.
But above all, whatever you do, have fun and live a full life, while being a MINDFUL YOU, and MINDFUL OF YOU!
Please add a comment below about what you think. And if you practice mindfulness, what you do and how you have found it. Please also let me know if you have enjoyed this blog and if you would like me to cover more in future blogs.
Finally, have an awesome week!
Iron Eagle Business Success and Personal Transformation Coach, Makere was a Registered nurse before achieving Bachelor and Masters of Law degrees, while a mother of 3 and working. A consultant for government agencies, wider legal work and created several successful businesses. Makere's coaching encompasses business, career, wholistic health and personal life success.