Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
It's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
Awareness of this kind doesn't start by trying to change or fix anything. It's about allowing ourselves to see the present more clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.
How Mindfulness can help
Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.
Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask 'Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?'
Studies have found that mindfulness programmes, where participants are taught practices across a series of weeks, can bring about reductions in stress and improvements in mood.
For contact details of Mindfulness practitioners at Lifeways, call 01789 292 052 or use the contact form to email us.