Video Blog #1 – What is Mindfulness?

In our first video blog we’re going to be looking into Mindfulness.  The video is a brief summary of our full “What is Mindfulness” article (posted below).  We suggest watching the video and then if you want to learn more, continue reading on.

Full article…

What is Mindfulness?

Have you ever been glued to the TV and failed to notice when someone steps into the living room? Or when driving, arrived at your destination only to not really remember the last 5-10 minutes of your journey? Well, in such cases, you were lacking in mindfulness and were simply not aware of the present. Your mind was occupied and you failed to comprehend or notice what was going on around you.

With this being said, you can define mindfulness as being able to maintain constant awareness of your surroundings, feelings, thoughts and what is taking place in the present moment. Simply put, it can be defined as paying attention to the present and controlling your mind to stay focused. As a child, this is quite easily done but as we get older, it’s hampered by our many thoughts of the past and future expectations.

How mindfulness helps with mental health.

Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress. It is completely normal to suffer from stressful situations.  Such instances certainly take a toll on most people if not everyone. By engaging in mindfulness meditation, it has been shown that there is a notable reduction in stress and anxiety.

Another important benefit of this is boosting one’s focus. Loss of focus is a major issue for most people. This makes it difficult to undertake tasks faster and comprehensively. In order to enable one’s mind to focus and avoid distractions, mindfulness meditation has been one reliable remedy. It enables your mind to develop the ability to maintain focus, which resultantly increases performance and productivity.

How does one start becoming more mindful?

If you want to become more mindful, there are certain things you can try out;

One of the ideal ways is by training your mind. It may sound somewhat difficult and complicated but it’s actually easy and straightforward. This entails beginning to take note of your daily routine, for instance, brushing your teeth. Have you ever taken time to have a look at the toothpaste you use, how the name is written, the type or whether you press it from the bottom or the middle? Such simple things enable your mind to develop a habit of taking note of details and also getting engaged.

Another ideal way is by being brief with your activities. It is always easy for the mind to wander, especially if you are undertaking lengthy activities. Try breaking down the activities you undertake. Doing the activities in small bits ensures that focus is not diverted due to things such as boredom.

Different Mindfulness practices

When it comes to these practices, there are many ways through which you can practice mindfulness and the best thing is that they involve your daily life.There is one which is very basic but amazingly effective and this is taking deep breathes. It may sound all too common but when you breathe in and out, you settle your mind and body thereby being able to control your train of thought.  The phrase “take a deep breath” is often used, however the latest science shows that it is actually 5 deep breaths you should be taking if you actually want to alter your physiology.

Another practice can be taking time to make certain actions. It is our human nature to respond abruptly without taking time to think through our actions. To counter this, try taking time to respond to the phone when it rings. This does not mean ignoring the phone call but taking time to think of the caller; what might be the problem, how does the person currently look like among other things will help in composing your mind.

You can also try reading a book while understanding the context and not just rushing it. Get immersed in the book and let go of any distractions. Such reading develops the mind and enables you to control your mind and thought.

Still, how about writing your to-do list by hand? We are used to making notes on the phone while getting distracted by the incoming texts and calls or alternatively having the list in mind. However, by writing it down, you actually think through each activity and your mind works in the moment.

In conclusion, as much as mindfulness may seem ambiguous in its application to the daily life, it’s actually very important and transformative to many of the people who practice it. Give it a try it might work for you.

All the best,

The A2B Team

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