Our Osteopath Bron shares her advice on becoming more mindful.
Mindfulness is a buzzword. It is often daunting or misunderstood, and hence goes over many people’s heads without a second thought. However, it is a concept, a tool, which is highly effective and adaptable to suit your needs. Mindfulness is beneficial to your health and wellbeing.
I have been practicing meditation (in various forms) for over twelve years. I have been through intense phases whereby sitting for long periods of time in quiet contemplation, as well as other times when I have incorporated a more ‘dynamic’ practice into my (busy) life.
I think the importance and value gained from being present (mindful)– even if only for one moment every day – is more valuable than putting it on the to the ‘to do list’ one day in the future when there is enough time. The irony! It’s a paradoxical concept. When is there ever enough time?? Now is the only time. And besides, time is an illusion.
There is an old Buddhist saying that suggests; the busier you are, the more you need to meditate. Gaining clarity and perspective are just some of the benefits gained from being mindful.
In this day and age technology and the pace of life is moving exponentially faster. I’ve noticed that a lot of people – children and adults – do not feel comfortable without doing something. People are also not comfortable with silence. The constant stimulation and bombardment from social media, emails and advertising has become so embedded in everyday life that we have forgotten what reality actually is. And so, we can use mindfulness to connect us back to this.
For me, mindfulness starts with noticing the small things. It might be the way the light changes as the sun rises, or the movement of a bird or an ant. It goes a step further than this though to noticing that I am noticing whatever it may be.
In Buddhist teachings they talk about watching the observer. And so, I offer you the opportunity to pause today to notice something, which is occurring around you (separate from your computer or phone!). Try to choose something that is connected to the world around you, nature in some form. Then notice yourself noticing the thing. And smile, because this is the foundation to meditation and moving through this life with more consciousness.
Then see if you can practice noticing something everyday. Add it into your daily walk, or commute to work, or train ride. Whatever you like! This small practice of noticing something real, and noticing that you are noticing, is the practice of mindfulness.
There is a lot of evidence to show the health benefits of being more mindful. Deeper breathing, less anxiety, reduced stress. The list goes on! What could be more rewarding than this?
If you would like more information on mindfulness, please do not hesitate to contact me at the clinic.
Other options include listening to a podcast on the topic (Tara Brach is amazing!), finding a meditation or yoga school, or downloading a meditation app on your phone (Smiling Mind, Headspace, and Calm are some examples).