What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is returning your awareness from your wandering mind to what’s happening in the present moment, and doing so with acceptance. You have to return your awareness again and again because the mind wanders endlessly.
Mindfulness means being aware of what you are doing, while you are doing it. This means being aware that you are breathing, walking, driving, running making a phone call, cooking a meal and so on. When you have thoughts, notice that you have thoughts and come back to awareness of what you are actually doing. When you are emotional just notice the emotion – not trying to deepen it and not trying to push it away – and come back to awareness of what you are doing.
Mindfulness lowers stress, helps you to relate in a different way to the challenges of life and enhances your sense of well-being. You can be mindful anywhere and you don’t need any kind of equipment – so mindfulness is completely mobile.
How can I practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways as part of your daily life. The simplest method is to practice returning your awareness to your breathing because your breathing is always happening in the present moment.
I don’t have the time for mindfulness.
Yes you do. You can make mindfulness part of your day and you can decide that you will do some of your routine activities (drinking tea, brushing your teeth etc) mindfully, for instance. If you can put some time aside to just be mindful. Mindfulness exercises and mindfulness techniques are aimed at people who are very busy – and nowadays that means almost everybody.
Is mindfulness the same as living in the now?
Yes. When you practice mindfulness, you gently bring yourself back into the present moment every time you notice that you have drifted in your mind back to the past or into the future. Also, you gently bring yourself back to the present moment whenever you realise that you have drifted off into your imagination. The word “gently” is important. Never, ever scold yourself for drifting away from awareness. Drifting is what minds do. Accept this fact and take your awareness back to the present moment.