The concept of mindfulness has been gaining in popularity in recent years. But what is mindfulness and how does it benefit people and help them cope with the stresses of modern life?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a valuable technique which enables people to cope with stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is a method of relaxing meditation which is useful for tackling stress, dealing with anxiety or managing pain. When practising mindfulness, people are encouraged to focus on their full sense of being — their breathing, their heartbeat, their sense of touch, what they smell, what they can hear, the images they can see around them.
Mindfulness heightens all the senses and makes people feel acutely aware of how every sensation affects their body. It teaches people to exist ‘in the moment’ without worrying, judging, stressing, over-thinking etc. How do we practise mindfulness? Can it really help banish negative thinking?
How to Practise Mindfulness
The following steps are necessary when practising mindfulness:
- Pay attention to your inner or outer experience and listen to your inner voice. It may help if you focus on an object — a vase, a flower, a chair — anything will do.
- Live ‘in the moment’ — don’t think about the past or future — just focus on the ‘now’.
- Learn to observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.
- Focus on your breathing — listen as you gently breathe in and out.