It is a busy world. You do the dishes while keeping one eye on the kids and another on your favourite soap opera or football match on television. You plan your day while taking a shower or listening to the radio and commuting to work. But in the rush to accomplish necessary tasks, you may find yourself losing your connection with the present moment—missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.
With all this madness practicing mindfulness is good for you. Having said this I know that the mind has “a mind of its own” and we cannot control incoming thoughts as hard as we may try. Just as you can exercise the body for better performance, the mind too can be trained, honed and sharpened to be mindful. Learning to be present through mindfulness activities helps to tame the mind so there is space between the thinking and doing. Mindfulness alters our habitual responses by having us take a pause.
Mindfulness is a natural quality that we all have. It is available to us in every moment regardless of your age, gender, status and race – all it takes is time to appreciate and practice it. Mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. Your breath is one of the principal anchors to use for practicing mindfulness. You breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind back to your body and you are there. When your mind is there with your body, you are established in the present moment. Mindfulness improves physical health. Scientists have also discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
Mindfulness improves mental health. In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences—including painful emotions—rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance. Mindfulness in school is also a value add to both teachers and students. We can do this by the purposeful inclusion of mindfulness and mindful meditation principles, theories, and practices into education. The goal of mindfulness in schools is to help students and teachers learn: Self-awareness, Empathy, techniques to calm and focus the mind, Mindful communication and applying mindfulness skills to everyday life.
Mindfulness can also benefit corporates and businesses by adding value to their biggest investment – the human capital which will then likely translate to a positive bottom-line. In the workplace, mindfulness can help to build teamwork, enhance creativity and communication and resolve conflict in addition to the general wellbeing of people. The benefits mindfulness can have on any workplace should not be ignored. It also helps boost concentration and deal with stress, anxiety and depression; issues that are commonplace within a high-pressure corporate environment.