Whilst there might be a lack of understanding when it comes to Mindfulness, it is in reality a very simple concept.
Mindfulness means paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, moment by moment and non judgementally to your bodily sensations and your surrounding environment through what some describe as a “gentle lens”.
As human beings we love routine and as a result can operate for large parts of our days within this routine, from getting ready in a morning, to the regular journeys we make, we can largely operate on automatic pilot and are only shaken from this state when something out of the ordinary occurs.
If you have ever been described as being “miles away” or “in your own world” then this is the state you have likely been operating in.
We also all seem to have so much to do and as a result spend our days rushing from one thing to the next either wrestling with challenges or trying to enjoy opportunities! As part of working with PYP it is likely that you are going to be looking to push yourself more and yet at the same time we are going to ask you to be more mindful.
Pushing yourself doesn’t mean to the limit all day, every day it is about establishing sustainable high levels of performance, building in the time to prepare properly to enable that performance to be delivered consistently. This balance will help when managing your own expectations and as a result the other’s expectations of you. This expectation management is also brought about through establishing this consistency. Being more mindful will assist with this.
Mindfulness therefore can simply be being more aware of both ourselves and what is going on around us. From the feeling of our back against a chair or your feet on the floor, how your body feels physically and mentally. Becoming aware of the things that we don’t normally notice by focusing on the here and now rather than what we still need to do or what has just happened.
It is not about judging whether something is good or bad, just recognising what is in an impartial way, it is about having patience and being curious about yourself and the world around you, to enable you to live in the moment and be more accepting.
Research tells us that our minds wander up to 50% of the time and therefore it can be important to train yourself to focus and pay attention to one thing rather than looking to multi task, which in reality is just quickly switching between two different tasks. This focus is important when you are looking to be more effective in your day to day activity.
Mindfulness can also make you more positive about life, reduce stress and anxiety can increase your levels of focus and overall levels of life satisfaction.
Schedule 10 minutes every day to practice mindfulness. Find the right environment to be alone with your thoughts and feelings.