I go on about mindfulness a lot on this blog. I firmly believe that mindfulness is the first and hugely important step to having a focused and happy life.
Despite its growing rise in popularity however, and my various posts on it, there is still much research to be conducted to help provide evidence to sceptics and other evidence-based people to prove it’s worth.
To this end, this weekend post is brought to you (in addition to my usual dose of helpfulness) because I thought you guys might be interested in the following article extract from the people over at Adventures in Positive Psychology…they’ve been very succinct and probably far more eloquent than I am in explaining what it is and how it works.
Mindfulness has been shown to be effective for therapeutic purposes by decreasing emotional distress and helping to reduce depression – though mindfulness can also be a valuable means for dealing with everyday pressures as well.
Basically – if we focus on the present, it’s really difficult to get ‘het up’ about the past or worry about the future. It allows us to concentrate on the present moment and enjoy it for what it is.
Learning to be mindful of our ongoing experiences can help us cope with stress while still remaining productive and goal oriented. It is a practice to help us accept the present moment in a calm and collected manner, without getting caught up in racing thoughts or overwhelmed with uncomfortable emotions.
Being mindful doesn’t mean you never think about the future and throw your plans out the window, it just means you think about them in a ‘present’ context. Try not to take yourself in to the future with your thinking, comparing it to where you are now and how you’ll feel then. Make plans, but keep your emotions centred in the present.
Often when emotions emerge they lead to an urge to take action and react. Mindfulness can help us be less reactive and deal with fluctuating emotions by developing greater awareness of how we feel, as well as learning to accept the current experience in a more objective manner.
An important function of managing emotions is being able to identify and acknowledge the feeling. When we can recognize and be aware of our emotions it allows us to cope and respond in a more conscious manner. It provides greater clarity on the emotional experience overall and gives a means to describe our feelings.
If you want more help on identifying feelings, why not check out my Yoga Experiment and sign up (on the right hand side) to get access to my free Yoga Nidra audio to guide you in to a state of mindful meditation which allows you to explore your feelings gradually.