Mindfulness – What Is It?
Nowadays we hear so much about mindfulness but what exactly is this term referring to? Mindfulness actually stems from Buddhism but is not nowadays strictly religious. In essence it is about doing everything more mindfully, being more conscious of your every move and your surroundings.
At its deepest form it is a type of meditation but you don’t need to go into that state, you can practice mindfulness wherever you are, even in the midst of noise. It is more than anything a self-taught way of thinking, sensing and moving. To adopt a new life of mindfulness is to totally unlearn how we as a society have been conditioned.
Why Mindfulness Is Needed In Today’s World?
Mindfulness involves taking life at a slower pace, appreciating nature on a daily basis, doing things one at a time the old-fashioned way. This links in with the recent scientific findings that multi-tasking is a fallacy of efficiency. Repeated studies have demonstrated that most human beings can do at most two tasks at a time mindfully (without the potential for error or poor quality work).
As a comical aside this explains why you receive that letter that has to be signed and returned two days before the letter is dated! The Personal Assistant was probably answering phone calls, listening to her boss rushing out the door shouting his terse instructions.
And at the same time having another customer waiting as she tries to remain composed and rapidly types up her letter to you! It is no wonder people type the wrong dates on insurances certificates, mistake names, make mistakes about years and return by dates.
Yes we live in a crazy, at times unnecessarily hectic world. A lot of the time we are making ourselves so much busier in our mission to cram so much in 24 hours. Technology has enhanced this chasing the clock with our deadlines being shortened by technology.
At the same time that technology has enslaved us as we try to do more with the same amount of time, unrealistically thinking we can achieve so much in the day with fast technology…but we are ONLY human!
Advantages Of Mindfulness
One of the most amazing results of adopting a more mindful attitude to live, to slowing yourself down in both body and mind is you gain more self-awareness. You will also probably find yourself to be more at peace. This translates to you being more aware of others when you are perhaps exercising mindfulness on a walk.
For me it’s about de-cluttering my thinking, clearing the cobwebs in my mind and relishing nature. As I do this and I encounter strangers walking on their own walks, lost in their own solitude, my mindfulness gives me more courage to reach out to others since I am at that moment in a more peaceful state. I smile or wave at regular walkers far more than if I had done my previous rushed walks, oblivious to nature, people and the universe around me.
Thus the act of mindfulness is a bit of a contradiction; it encompasses others and the universe and is not selfish. You essentially tune out from the everyday world except to what is immediately in front and around you (usually nature).
This very act that somehow enables you to tune in, become more self-aware of yourself but not in a selfish way! You actually become more aware of people around you since you have centred yourself and feel incredibly calm and refreshed.
Find out how to practice mindfulness in the next article.