Benefits of mindfulness

People who regularly practice mindfulness have identified some of the following benefits;

· Increase our ability to recover and handle stressful scenarios
· Build greater resilience
· Strengthen our ability to cope with stress
· Enhance our capacity to work with and lead organisational and personal change.
· Give us more energy and enthusiasm for everyday life
· Create greater capacity for balancing work and home life, being relaxed and having fun.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness provides a simple, yet powerful way of helping ourselves become unstuck from the fast pace of life and being fully awake in the present moment. Mindfulness is experiential and a skill that can be developed through regular practice. It is an opportunity to become more in tune with your own body, mind, heart and life. It is a particular way of paying attention and the awareness that arises through paying attention in that way. A form of meditation which helps create awareness and understanding of our mind and how it influences our perceptions and actions.
For majority of us, we live our lives in automatic pilot, constantly thinking about the past, or planning what needs to be done in the future. Lost in negative thoughts, conversations that we need to, or should have or racing to the next meeting without a moment to stop.

Always doing...

This is often exasperated by the digitalisation of communication and social interaction. 

Always 'on' mode...

These are the times when life can feel overwhelming! Multitasking so many different roles in our lives can negatively influence who we are and how we respond or react to situations, from our ability to concentrate and perform at work to the impact and quality of the relationships we have at work and home.
Practicing mindfulness can help us to pay attention to our experiences in the present moment, experiencing our lives with a more direct and immediate connection with our everyday living. By having greater awareness of being in the present moment can help us feel a sense of calm, a connection with ourselves and those around us.
Jon Kabat-Zinn says 'mindfulness meditation is not about feeling a certain way, it is about feeling the way you feel. It is not about getting or being somewhere else, it’s about allowing yourself to be where you already are.'
Mindfulness is definitely becoming a hot topic of conversation and has become integrated into global society. There is a growing awareness and interest within professional and scientific communities such as business, education, technology, leadership, sports and even politics and government policy. More recently there has been widespread media coverage and research highlighting the benefits mindfulness can bring to our brains and its connectivity. 

My experience of mindfulness has been for almost the last decade, I was privileged to have received my first formal mindfulness through a work-based course. I found this course useful and intriguing, although I did struggle to really commit to the much needed regular practice. I believe this is the same for a lot of people, they feel the benefits when they do it but life gets in the way to truly commit. Now that I have built my regular practice I believe it is part of my life.
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