What is mindfulness? Everything you need to know | Win Your Week #46

What is mindfulness? Everything you need to know | Win Your Week #46

Welcome to Win Your Week - our weekly blog on all things motivation, mindfulness, life hacks and more!

You may have heard a lot about the benefits of mindfulness or mindful practices. But today we want to strip this concept right back and discuss what mindfulness actually is and what it means to live mindfully?

Defining Mindfulness

Mindfulness is by definition the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. You may be thinking “I’m always aware of what I am doing, right”? On a daily basis we are constantly bombarded with deadlines, distractions and commitments, which impair our ‘in the moment’ consciousness and awareness. This is where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness emphasises being present and fully engaged in what you’re doing and most importantly it is time that is free of detractions and judgement, where you bring awareness to your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.

While this may seem simple it has profound benefits and positive outcome for your daily life.

So, what does it look like to live mindfully?

Imagine you are driving home after work, and you get stuck in peak hour traffic. This may make you stressed as you have a dinner reservation or make you fearful as it is pouring down rain. But, there is an alternative way to respond to this situation.

Now imagine you find yourself stuck in traffic and start to feel stressed but instead of letting these feeling overwhelm you; you accept the situation and that you cannot change it. So, you take a breath, feel the cool air on you face, hear you favourite song is playing. Now you are focused on the present, your emotions are diffused.

Living more mindfully means being in the present, taking a breath and not being controlled by reactive thoughts and feelings. This is particularly useful when we are faced with challenging circumstances or difficult situations.

Mindfulness is not a temporary state of mind, rather, it is a way of living in which we are able to step back and be in the present moment in any situation.

Mindfulness doesn’t eliminate stress or other difficulties, rather it allows us to be more thoughtful in how we want to respond, whether that's calmly and empathetically or perhaps, occasionally with measured anger.

Benefits of mindfulness

In addition to helping us have more control of our emotions and focus more on the present. People who practice mindfulness report heightened levels of happiness, patience, acceptance, and compassion, as well as lower levels of stress, frustration, and sadness.

Now that we have defined what mindfulness is and why it’s important, we can talk about how this links to mindfulness practices.

Mindfulness practice

Mindfulness if mostly commonly practiced through meditation.

Meditation helps train your moment-to-moment awareness, allowing you to build the skill of mindfulness so we can apply it to everyday life.

There are many types of meditation you can practise; it is all about finding a practise you like and a schedule that works for you!

Regardless of what type of meditation you like most have one thing in common: they’re aimed at cultivating, calm and clarity, with the intention to remain focused and hone a natural quality of awareness.

Over to you...

We hope this helps you understand what mindfulness actually is, how mindfulness is practiced and decide If this a practice you want to introduce in your life.

Now go out and win your week!