What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the mental equivalent to physical exercise. For many of us physical exercise of one form or another has become an important part of our lives, and as a result many of us have discovered the wide ranging benefits some type of regular physical training can offer.
Although many of us spend hours twisting and stretching on our yoga mats or wind down our cardio with a little Tai Chi, we don’t typically realize that many of these common exercise systems were originally developed for the purpose of keeping the body fit and balanced enough for more advanced forms of mindfulness practice.
As more people are exposed to this powerful method for healing, peak performance and increased quality of life, it is our belief that mindfulness meditation will someday be as common and valued as physical exercise is today.
On the most basic level mindfulness teaches you a better way to manage your stress and find peace of mind. Chronic stress has long been known to be a serious threat to our health, and meditation is now being taught in health care settings around the world to combat the effects of chronic stress on our minds and bodies. Many of us live a life of near constant motion so it can be incredibly calming and refreshing to take a few moments out of the day to slow down and just BE.
Running On Autopilot
One of the first things you discover when you begin a mindfulness practice is that much of the time you are functioning on Auto-Pilot. Most of your thoughts, emotional reactions, and behaviors are habitual patterns that actually involve very little choice on your part. Unconscious patterns of thinking and behaving come from old experiences and they obscure the real truth of the present moment. Mindfulness meditation lets you SEE these old ineffective patterns with enough clarity and freedom to let them go. You can then choose a different path.
The increased awareness and capacity for conscious choice that mindfulness meditation develops puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life. It opens you up to new levels of insight, wisdom, and self-understanding. What is true and valuable and significant in your life is seen with greater clarity and appreciation. In this way mindfulness puts you back in alignment with your own deepest core, your deepest self.
A Gift To Yourself
Mindfulness meditation, and the increased awareness it brings, is ultimately a gift you give to yourself. It improves your physical health, re-centers you, and reduces your stress. And just as physical exercise benefits you in many ways and aspects of your life so to does mindfulness. It brings peace, confidence, resilience, and increased understanding. It changes the way you perceive yourself and the world around you. And it teaches you how to BE PRESENT – a skill that improves every other area of your life.
More Information About Mindfulness
Mindfulness is an incredibly broad topic spanning many diverse disciplines and practices. More information about the benefits of mindfulness that have been proven by modern psychological research is available here. And more information about the way mindfulness is used in therapy can be found here.