Mindfulness: Your route to a healthier, happier you!

Mindfulness: Your route to a healthier, happier you!

Origins and principle

Grounded in ancient meditation practices of Eastern Buddhism, Mindfulness entered the Western mainstream as a secular tool to better manage matters of the mind and be more present in our own lives.

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Using a system of simple breathing, concentration and sensory techniques, Mindfulness recalibrates our tendency to operate on emotional autopilot, habitually consumed by negative past experiences and overwhelming concerns about the future. Instead, it teaches us to declutter our minds, regulate our emotions and awaken all our senses to consciously celebrate and engage with the present. By doing so, we gift ourselves with equanimity, a state of psychological stability in which contentment, self-esteem and productivity have the freedom to flourish.

Benefits for life

The popularity of Mindfulness has been propelled by vast academic, clinical and neurological research substantiating its broad benefits. They include:

• Positive outlook
Reduces everyday stress, combats depression and prevents relapses in those with a mental health history.

• Rational choices
Encourages better decision-making driven by measured understanding rather than reactive emotion.

• Physically fitter
Boosts our immune system’s ability to fend off illness.

• Sharper focus
Equips us to restrict unproductive distractions and expand attention capacity.

• Cognitive power
Increases density in brain regions associated with learning and memory.

Rewarding relationships
Reinforces acceptance, understanding and communication in relationships with loved ones and colleagues.

Getting started

Mindfulness takes patience, but taking it slow and practicing regularly will allow you to hone the fundamentals quicker than you think. Start your Mindfulness journey by incorporating the following into your daily routine:

• Sit, breathe and master your mind
Adopt a comfortable upright sitting position, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. After a short time, your mind will invariably wander. When it does, gently acknowledge the feelings the thoughts stir – without being critical or judgemental about your emotional response – and then guide your mind back to your breathing. Over time, you will become adept at this meditative process, and it will build your ability to take charge of any negative thoughts distracting you from positively living in the moment.

• Make the ordinary extraordinary
Resist the urge to check your phone or allow your mind to go into thought overdrive when traveling to work or walking to the supermarket. Instead, observe and sense the sights, sounds and smells that you usually bypass unnoticed on such familiar journeys. Feeling gravel under your feet, hearing the laughter of a passing child or inhaling lavender in bloom are simple pleasures that connect us to the present and make us feel akin to the world we live in.

• Take time to pause
Make a habit of injecting mini sensory pauses between everyday actions. Listen to your phone ring before answering it, feel the weight of your body in the driving seat of your car before motoring your way to work and savour the colours and aromas your evening meal before you feast. It will ground you in the moment, help clear your mind and provide a positive sense of self that is too often discarded in the course of a demanding day.

Advanced Mindfulness

If you want to explore Mindfulness more and integrate it into every aspect of your life, consider enrolling on a structured course. 
Click here to order Mindfulness A-Z : 108 Insights for Awakening Now for £9.49 (RRP £10.99) plus £1.25 p&p


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