Mindfulness is a practice that’s been around for thousands of years, but it’s only in the last few years that it’s had a big resurgence. People are starting to realise the true benefits of mindfulness in helping to cope with the stresses and strains of modern life. The amount of websites, books and practitioners discussing the subject just shows how far it’s come.
Have you been wondering exactly what mindfulness is and where it comes from? Many people are inspired by the practice of mindfulness, and while it can sound like a fairly easy mindset to adopt at the outset, it’s actually much more complex once you delve a little deeper. It’s effectiveness has been revolutionary in helping people with depression and anxiety to manage their symptoms, while it can also transform someone’s confidence in themselves and unlock their true potential.
We want to break the meaning of mindfulness down for you, so that you can truly reap the rewards of this ancient, wisdom practice that has so many benefits in helping you live a fulfilling life.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your own thoughts and feelings, and being able to connect with them so that you can understand what’s going on both inside and out. When you are able to successfully connect with yourself on a deeper level, you will have the power to control many of the emotions connected with your mental health.
You can learn to focus on and embrace your life moment by moment and rationalise any negative emotions that take over, giving you the ability to manage symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Obstacles can become easier to overcome, you have the opportunity to see more clearly and you can become more productive in your daily life too.
Once you’ve mastered the practice of mindfulness, it can be incorporated into your daily life easily. You will begin to recognise every sight, sound, smell and taste with curiosity. It’s easy to let these smaller aspects of life pass you by on a daily basis, but it is these fundamental principles that open doors to new perspectives – ones where you can see life in a more positive and curious light.
Benefits of mindfulness
- It helps you to make the most of your life
- It encourages you to focus on the positive aspects of your life
- It allows you to reach your true potential
- It enables you to enjoy the smaller yet important things in life
- It improves your overall wellbeing and mental health
- It’s great for managing symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression
- It has the potential to help you control emotions related to pain and grief
Where did it originate?
Mindfulness is an ancient practice that stems from Buddhism. Originating in Asia – as it is believed – over 2,500 years ago, it’s a practice that has been long used to train the mind. It’s not religious in any way, and it has always been a practice for anyone who has been interested in changing their perspective on life.
Buddha himself didn’t even preach to be a Buddhist. It just goes to show that Buddhism as a faith recognised the true nature of humans – as beings, not doings. They promoted that the benefits of mindfulness had the capacity to create a more meaningful, balanced and peaceful life for anyone who chose to embrace it.
The practice of mindfulness in Buddhism is best described as: “knowing the mind; training the mind; and freeing the mind”. And it hasn’t changed an ounce since then, as this is still the foundation of mindfulness as it’s practised today.
What is it used for?
Mindfulness is used in a variety of ways, and there is no limit to what it can achieve for each and every one of you. It’s up to you how you want to use it and incorporate it into your life, but least of all, it will create a more positive and fulfilled you.
More than anything, mindfulness has proved extremely effective in helping people to deal with mental health conditions that hold them back from living the life they dream of having.
These are some emotional conditions that mindfulness can help with:
- Stress & AnxietyStress and anxiety are linked closely because both can make everything in your life seem overwhelming and unattainable. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s usually just your mind telling you so. Mindfulness helps to calm the anxiety within you and deal with stressful triggers in your life by using special techniques that bring your mind to the present moment – rather than focusing on the fear of what’s to come – and encourage you to manage certain situations more productively.
- DepressionDepression can be a more serious mental health condition, as your state of mind can cause you to withdraw from life for weeks and months, rather than days. The benefits of mindfulness here can help you to understand what’s making you unhappy – and that usually stems from the past. Training your mind to focus on the present moment can help you to rationalise and think much more positively, pushing away any negative thoughts and emotions that have stopped you living your best life.
- ConfidenceConfidence issues are more common than ever. It’s likely that you’ll stop doing the things you love, become isolated from others and doubt your ability to do anything when your confidence is low. The benefits of mindfulness are profound when it comes to improving self-doubt, enabling you to refocus on the positives and set goals to reach your full potential again and regain your inner confidence.
These are the core areas that most practitioners work in currently, but there really is no limit to the benefits of mindfulness and anyone and everyone can transform their life by incorporating it daily.
Why is mindfulness effective?
As you will have read above, mindfulness is a powerful tool for managing any overwhelming thoughts and emotions in the mind that cannot be controlled on their own.
If you feel as though you aren’t living the life you dream of, you feel like you aren’t able to reach your full potential, you feel lost and stuck in an endless negative cycle, you can’t change the way you think about the past, you can’t stop worrying about what lies ahead in the future, or you simply struggle to think positively about life anymore, then hopefully the benefits of mindfulness demonstrated here have shown you that it’s possible to turn that all around.
If you’ve ever wondered how to control your emotions and unlock the true potential in yourself, then please take a look at what the Coach Approach can offer. John Shallcroft specialises in Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapy and Personal Development Coaching, and incorporates mindfulness techniques into his practice to help people fulfil their potential, either in a professional or personal capacity. Visit the contact us page to find out more.