What is Mindfulness?
"Knowing what is happening while it is happening without preference or judgment"
Rob Nairn (Co-Founder of the UK based Mindfulness Association)
Research informs us that taking time out is a natural process for our brains. We can practice mindfulness to build on this and create new neural pathways in the brain which take our thoughts in a more positive direction and can bring many other benefits:
- Reduce symptoms of stress
- Increase ability to focus
- Boost immune system
- Learn to respond instead of react
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve decision making
- Improve relations at home and work
- Increase awareness of self and surroundings
- Improve cognitive function
A Harvard study found our minds are wandering an average of 47% of the time and that "A wandering mind is an unhappy mind."
We get distracted with habits and routines and have a natural negative bias to our thinking, causing problems in our thinking and behaviour. With mindfulness, we learn to return to ourselves with a sense of safety and ease in the present moment. This attitude of curiosity allows us to create new and healthier ways of responding to challenges.