Mindfulness is being aware of or bringing attraction to this moment in time, deliberately and without judging the experience. So, when we go for a mindful walk we really notice every little detail and all we encounter – trees, cars, flowers growing out of small cracks, or a cat crossing the road – rather than creating to-do lists.
By reconnecting with these simple moments in life, by truly living moment by moment, it is possible to rediscover a sense of peace and enjoyment. We may, at least sometimes, feel once again truly enchanted with life.
As form of therapy, mindfulness has been recently been in the news a great deal. It is recommended by the Department of Health and also in the guidelines set down by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), and many see it as a cheap, effective and ‘doable’ intervention for our stress-filled lives, as much as a skill that can prevent us from actually breaking down or becoming ill if we incorporate it into our daily lives.
More than 10,000 published research papers are available on mindfulness-based therapies, should you want to check out the subject in depth, and there are many online videos you can also watch. The application of mindfulness covers a range of situations, such in parenting training, the treatment of mental health, in schools and as part of well-being therapies. It is even used in treating the immune system, with some positive outcomes for patients with HIV,ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) and MS.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
People who regularly implement mindfulness strategies may find lasting physical and psychological benefits, such as:
- Increased experience of calm and relaxation
- Higher levels of energy and enthusiasm for living
- Increased self-confidence and self-acceptance
- Less danger of experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction or low immune efficiency
- More self-compassion and compassion for others and our planet