Oxford Dictionaries defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.”
It may surprise you to know that huge companies like Google and Starbucks use mindfulness to maintain their staff welfare, particularly at leadership levels. Google actually created its own mindfulness programme.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that a high number of hospital visits are work stress related and in the U.K. work stress, anxiety and depression accumulated a loss of 11.4 million work days in just one year.
This vast number could be brought down by the use of mindfulness and meditation; scientific tests show that taking time to be in the moment and to focus on peace rather than on the past, present and future at the same time offers huge benefits.
Increased neuroplasticity, this is the neural connection changes in the brain through behaviour and environment changes.
- You’ll enjoy a more efficient immune system.
- You’ll have the perspective to view situations as they truly are.
- You’ll end conflicts more rationally and swiftly.
- Mindfulness is your brain health tool; you’re in control.
- Better decision making.
- You’ll observe or listen without judgement, in the moment.
- Happiness increases.
- Enjoyment of work and life grows.
- You are a better communicator.
- Improved creativity.
- More effective working with others.
- Serenity and clarity of mind.
- Greater focus and productivity.
Mindfulness is about being fully in the present and giving whatever you are doing at that moment 100% so if you’re meditating then thoughts about the laundry, shopping list or what might happen if you don’t pay the gas bill tomorrow cannot reside in your head. You are in the process of meditation and in the here and now that is all you are concerned with, the rest will have to wait its turn, your brain health is vital. Remember that you can only do one thing at a time so pay it your full attention.
For instant serenity hits try to take a few moments to stop, sit back and focus entirely on your breathing. For each in breath think of your body being positively energised and for each out breath just let go of everything. Another method is to stop, check for points of tension and how you feel and then don’t restart an activity until you are calm and less tense.
There are courses, groups, programmes and online help available, some people need to have a structure to their mindfulness activity to kick it in to action, that’s where meetings help.
We’re striving to make the community mentally healthier and mindfulness is key to achieving this.