Mindfulness, simply put is the practice of paying attention. It might sound a little simplistic and pointless, however mindfulness can be the perfect tool to look after our mental health and prevent us slipping into a stress related illness such as depression or anxiety. Mindfulness is the concept that we pay attention to what we are doing, and complete a task on purpose rather than on auto pilot. It is a great way to focus our mental energy on something small instead of letting our minds race and wander off to something else. It involves being impartial: witnessing our actions and feelings without any judgement and simply being a watchful eye over ourselves.
Mindfulness can be done on even the most boring of days and with the most menial of tasks. You could wake up first thing in the morning and get out of bed, and pay attention as you brush your teeth. The act of paying attention to what you are doing will force you to want to brush your teeth properly and for the whole 2 minutes which is recommended by dentists. The simple act of bringing your mind to the present task makes the task more interesting, and in turn makes us much more willing to make that extra effort to complete it correctly.
Mindfulness mainly involves directing our attention deliberately to what we are doing or thinking, in order to be present on purpose. When we let ourselves complete tasks on autopilot, we can often look back on the day and forget what we’ve done. However, if we take the time to pay attention to every detail we can, we are able to live much more consciously and with a better purpose. There are many Mindfulness Wellbeing Courses which we can take part in to learn the art, and doing so will help us stay focused and strengthen the power of our brain.
Staying present in the moment and not allowing our mind to go off and wander is one of the key principles in mindfulness. Our mind has a habit of replaying ideas from the past and daydreaming about the future, and it is our ability to bring our minds to the present to what we are doing in the here and now which is what mindfulness is all about. It’s okay for our mind to wander, in fact it can be healthy: but it is the ability to bring it back to the present which is what mindfulness is all about.
The last principle involved with being mindful in our lives is to stay impartial and not be judgemental. The idea is to simply be a witness to our thoughts and feelings, without judging ourselves and our thoughts. We are simply there to notice what we are doing and how our mind works- we are not in the practice of mindfulness to change these things. We don’t want to be controlling our thoughts or stopping them at all, instead we want to simply notice the things we think about and where our mind is at the present moment.