Why is Mindfulness important.
Before we start – what exactly is mindfulness? The simplest definition we know is “clear awareness”. It is the ability to be present, and knowing what is happening in your experience in each moment. This attention can be applied to your mind, body, or environment. It is both a state of mind and a quality that you can develop through practice. This is not something you just get and then have, it takes work and practice to develop and understand how it can be applied to your everyday.
‘But I already know what I’m doing’… That may be true on one level. But if you take a closer look, you will see there are many times in the day when you are not fully present. Like on the way home, when you get to the front door of your house, but can’t quite remember details of the last 5 min of the walk to get there.
Mindfulness is a practice that allows us to expand our awareness and general presence. This awareness allows us to be more sensitive to what is happening in the present moment, within ourselves and also in the outside world.
Developing your own mindfulness practice can help to:
– Boost creativity
– Connection/ Disconnection and Clarity of the mind.
– Create a Non-Judgmental Attitude – being aware of the thoughts in your mind as an impartial witness.
– Increase patience
– Becoming more accepting to all things.
One example to try:
As you may be talking to 2 friends – take a deep breath, feel how you are feeling, listen to what you’re saying, and be fully aware of yourself in the moment. Now take that awareness and move ‘into the shoes’ of the second person…looking at the situation, thinking what they are thinking and saying, feeling how they are feeling in their body now, seeing you and the situation through their eyes. Take your time with this, as it can be quite powerful. You can do this to each person in the conversation or situation if you like. This can generate great insight in how to communicate to everyone, as that person might be missing some valuable information you may have skipped over or ‘assumed they knew’.
Next, move away from all of it and try to view the situation as a totally separate impartial observer, come into the room or space, and listen to everyone and what they are saying, how they are reacting, understanding each persons feelings and why they feel them, as well as your own, watching what you are doing and saying in relation to the situation. Maybe emotions are getting the better of us or others and we need to approach the situation differently – but this can only become clear as that 3rd observer view comes into place. As we know sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up into things and loose sight of the big picture.
There are positives and negatives to all positions, but this can generally give you some valuable clarity into situations and also great empathy for others, which will help you build rapport, and gain a better understanding of yourself and those around you.