Life & Living
Mindful not “Mind-Full”
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When many people are first familiarised with mindfulness, they often have an idea that it’s all a bit fanciful and not their sort of thing. Previously, I was once definitely of that opinion. Yet, like lots of things that have changed for me and innumerable others, by accommodating mindfulness within my life it has allowed me to become calmer, more grounded, less anxious, and less low generally. My relationships are more fulfilling and seem to work better without stress, anxiety, and frustration.
In my opinion there are three elements to mindfulness:
1) Being in the present moment
2) Breathing and meditating
3) Adopting a mindfulness thought process
Countless people live where they are continually getting side-tracked… especially with social media. Or they may be living in a muddled life where they repeatedly spiral mindlessly into frustration, worry or hopelessness. Often that balanced rewarding life they desire never becomes a reality.
Living more mindfully has enabled many people to be productive whilst at the same time enjoying that ‘restful’ feeling. They seem more in control… They don’t miss out by being endlessly preoccupied or confused. They own their lives and what they are doing… how they are being.
Mindfulness usually brings about an enormous change for people once they embrace it as a part of their routine. They learn to stop their mind being continually confused their anxiety and overthinking stressing them. They stop and consider and process thoughts and feelings, mindfully. Taking one thing at a time and allowing yourself to be absorbed in the present will help filter out complex clutter that may have been bewildering you. Most people can juggle one or two oranges, but they struggle with five and some try and juggle ten or fifteen. Take one thing at a time and give that one thing your full attention.
Mindfully aware people are generally more peaceful, more productive whilst performing jobs…more relaxed and friendlier with people and being in this world generally.
John Kabat-Zinn’s words provide a good summary:
The essence of mindfulness in everyday life is to make every moment you have your own…Even if you are hurrying, which is sometimes necessary, then at least hurry mindfully. (Kabat-Zinn, J. 1990: 358)
The relatively small commitment to daily meditation can be, after an initial struggle, very beneficial. There are ten guided meditation tracks on the Emotional skills website www.emotionalskills.uk why not
have a listen?
In summary, mindfulness has been useful in giving many people support and relief, allowing them to move peacefully in the ‘here and now’. It teaches them that they can live calmly without racing anxiously ahead and it prevents them being dragged down by the past. Individuals become able to speak their mind whilst being pleasant; they can take time to just stand and stare. Most importantly, they can take ownership of their lives.
Shane Lutkin has a master’s degree in The Theory of Personality and is lead therapist at psychotherapy organisation, Emotionalskills, which offers its services in Norfolk and online.
+44 (0) 7701 381422