Mindfulness

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Throughout my life I constantly was worried about something that could happen, may happen, should happen but actually – didn’t happen! I often found myself flustered and getting so worked up about something that hadn’t even occurred and may not even!! I knew what I was doing but just didn’t know how to stop. You can imagine this way of thinking, analysing and worrying creates great anxiety.

Stress – Anxiety – Depression. One vicious circle and cycle.

I won’t go into too much of my darker days under this heading however throughout my ‘blogging’ and ‘updates’ I will be touching over experiences and times where I can now look back and think it’s made me who I am today.

One of the and if not the most effective practices I found to overcome the ‘Stress, Anxiety, Depression’ Cycle (next to eating well and exercising) was ‘Mindfulness’.

There are 3 states of minds

Reasonable Mind – Ability to think rationally and plan behaviour. Able to calmly focus attention on problems.

Emotional Mind – Thinking and behaviour controlled by emotions. Logical thinking difficult. Facts tend to be distorted.

Wise Mind – Integration of emotional mind and reasonable mind. Wise mind adds intuitive knowing (awareness) and logical analysis to emotional experiencing.

Knowingness, feels truthful quiet, peaceful, centred, intuitive, grounded.

 

Mindfulness skills are the vehicle for balancing ‘Emotional Mind’ and ‘Reasonable Mind’ to achieve ‘Wise Mind’.

 What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned like any other and is one of the oldest and most basic skills known to mankind. In its essence, it’s as simple as rediscovering the taste of fresh water or the blue colour of the sky. It is learning or re-learning how to be present, how to be in this present moment. It can be like stepping out of a black and white tv into a world full of bright colours. There is nothing mysterious about it. It’s like learning to ride a bike or cook good meals or play a musical instrument. You start with easy practice and pogress to harder practice. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re making a lot of progress; other times you’ll be discouraged. But, it is certain that if you practice, practice, practice, your skills at mindfulness will improve!

It is about teaching yourself to be:

Aware – Of your body, your mind and your surroundings.

Present – In this moment, this very second, right here, right now.

Focused – More able to make choices about where you place your attention. Your reactions.

Body – Being in your body, bringing your mind and your body into synch

Accepting – Of yourself, your thoughts and of other people.

For me, mindfulness started off by a simple practice of focusing on my breath. This then moved to meditation and yoga.

Mindfulness can be as informal or as formal as you want it to be. It could be in a formal setting such as meditating using the breath as a ‘FOCUS’.

It could be as informal as making a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, driving in traffic with ‘AWARENESS’.

We are always paying attention to something, but often not what we choose, our thoughts, our mind jumps from one thing to another without us even realising. I know when I can really get going I could have more then one ‘cycle’ going on in my head at once. Imagine the exhaustion!

Through practice we can come back into the present moment and pay attention:

 On Purpose – By training ourselves to focus on an object of our choice, for me this was my breath

In the Present Moment – Being wiling to let go of thinking about the past or the future, coming back to what is here and now

Non-judgmentally being kind to ourselves as we bring our minds bcd to the focus, over and over. We don’t judge our experience as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we are learning and accept the experience just as it is.

 Weekly I will be updating this page with different tips on practicing mindfulness and my own experiences whether I meditated, did a yoga class or felt flustered and practices my breathing to come back into the present moment.