Getting Started with Mindfulness
Mindfulness, is everywhere now; from mindful colouring books, to CEO’s and world leaders professing the life changing impact the practice has had on their lives. At Work Well Being, mindfulness is often central to the wellbeing programmes we deliver for our workplace clients, as it is incredibly effective at increasing resilience, enhancing levels of empathy and connection, regulating emotions and improving focus. But what does it really mean to practice mindfulness?
Many of us consider ourselves to be ‘mindful’, we may be mindful of how others are feeling, mindful not to forget to pick up the milk on the way home, is this what mindfulness is? Well…sort of, each of those examples is a demonstration of being aware, attentive to others and focusing on the things we need to do.
This is mindfulness in its purest sense, focused attention. Whilst we often do this without realising, there are ways to cultivate this attentive mindset further, and huge benefits in taking the time to do so.
In our world today we are continuously bombarded with information and choices to make, often feeling at the mercy from the constant pull and distraction of messages and alerts on our devices. Whilst these advances in technology have enhanced our quality of life in countless ways, the evolution of our minds hasn’t kept up pace with the rate of technology, resulting in us often feeling overwhelmed and frazzled…that’s right…step away from the iPhone!
Mindfulness is a practice; it takes commitment and time, but with this real change takes place. The key to building a regular practice is about finding what works for you. Whilst committing to a formal daily 30 min practice is undoubtedly beneficial, this isn’t always going to be achievable, especially when starting out.
So, start small, notice and be curious about what impact it is having for you, and then choose whether you wish to begin to invest in longer periods of practice.
Next week I will be showing you how to achieve just that, with daily challenges on how to get started by injecting mini moments of mindfulness into your day, which could be during your shower, walk to the train or making a cup of tea. To get the ball rolling (excuse the pun!) here are a few to get you thinking:
- Even if you are in a desk-based job, it’s important to interject moments of movement into your day, doing so ignites creativity.
- Make a tea break, a break! Focus on making the tea and nothing else.
- And breaaaaaathe, focusing on the breath is an incredibly powerful way of reducing anxiety. Keep an eye out for a breathing technique in the next week!