Our everyday lives are bursting with challenges which our brains are continually solving.
Why do we need to pause our brains?
Not only do our busy lives require us to think about immediate challenges such as what to wear,eat or watch but long term challenges too. The capacity of our little grey cells to ponder over future actions is what generates anxiety or panic. In addition to thinking about future challenges our brains also love to remind us of previous challenges. This causes us to dwell on our past which often generates anxiety or in some cases, depression. But in a world where we are faced with so much choice how can we pause our brain’s continual hamster-wheel of activity? Unlike mobile phones our brain’s don’t have an off switch or a silent mode. To tame and control our brains to be in the moment we can practice mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness has characterised Oriental societies for centuries. Since its introduction in the USA from the 1970’s it is punctuating our daily routines. Mindfulness alleviates symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety and allows our brains to compartmentalise thoughts. This permits rational decision making and enhances our creativity. Mindfulness has also been widely associated with improved immunity and as a tool to improve personal relationships.
How can I practice mindfulness?
Experiment with these 3 steps for 15-20 minutes each day to discover the virtues of mindfulness:
1) Sit up
2) Close your eyes
3) Concentrate – Repeat and word or sound out loud or in your head.
Naturally your mind will begin to wander as your brain automatically wants to solve challenges ‘what shall I eat for dinner?…’. Rein those thoughts in. Every time your thoughts start to wander, bring them back and focus on breathing. The more you train your brain to focus on breathing the easier it will get. Concentrating on breathing will be tricky at first, but don’t give up! Practice makes perfect and over time you will wonder how you managed before mindfulness.
Want to further your mindfulness experience?
Discover mindfulness with dedicated professionals in your local area by searching through our directory