What is Mindfulness?

To change our body shape and redefine physical muscles, we do repetitive physical exercise. The physical exercise, may be going to the gym, exercise classes or running.  We know that, only doing this once or twice a month, will not change our body, it must be regular, repetitive exercise.  We may struggle at first and see no major change.  We may think, why am I doing this and seeing no change?  If we keep going, something clicks and before we know it, we have retrained our muscles and made a physical change.

Mindfulness is the same. Regular, repetitive mind exercises, redefine our mind.  Every mind exercise we do, focuses on being in the present moment.  Repeating these exercises, just 3-5 minutes per day, retrains our mind.  We can retrain our mind to remain in the present moment, rather than being stuck in the past, or projecting into the future.  This helps to eliminate depression, stress and anxiety.

The three concepts of Mindfulness are awareness, non-judgement and living in the present moment. Mindfulness is to deliberately be aware and observe; remaining in the present moment with no judgement.

What does that mean? It means being aware of your feelings and thoughts, not attaching to them, or supressing them.  Not judging yourself for thinking those thoughts and letting them go, to remain in the present moment.  You are not your thoughts.

Remaining in the present moment, enables us to focus on the here and now, not being distracted by our thoughts. As, a result, it makes us better at things!

Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Better memory
  • Enhanced brain function
  • Better concentration
  • Improved decision making
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved sleep
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Better self-knowledge

What happens when we think?

We react, attach, project and worry. When we are stressed or worried about something that has not yet happened, our bodies still react as if it has happened – we place our bodies in this state through our thoughts.  This can lead to fatigue, aches or pains and a weakened immune system.

The voice in our head, which we call the ego, can take a snippet of a situation and magnify it. We then begin to overthink, with this negative voice listing all, of our insecurities and fears.   We begin to think what ifs.  Thoughts and what ifs, are never ending.  You will never reach the end of a thought.  The situation then becomes bigger and bigger, until we are overwhelmed and begin to suffer depression, anxiety, stress, panic attacks.

Indicators of Stress

  •  Negative self-talk
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor judgement
  • Poor memory
  • Racing thoughts, causing adrenaline to be released, causing anxiety
  • Aches and pains
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of libido
  • Sluggish digestion and stomach aches
  • Increased heart beat
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling unable to cope
  • Mood swings
  • Depressive feelings
  • Feeling lonely
  • Nervous habits
  • Feeling withdrawn from others
  • Cancelling plans
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Overeating / over drinking / over smoking / over exercising

Mindfulness makes us stop! Mindfulness helps us to observe that negative voice, rather than reacting to it.  Mindfulness makes us observe the situation, without judgement and to let go of the need to overthink.  This calms us and makes us more centred.  As, a result we feel more balanced and confident.  We can say no without worrying and truly be ourselves.

We must not ignore our thoughts, otherwise they will not go away. We must merely observe them, non-judgementally and let them go.

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