Mindfulness originated in Buddhism and as such it’s part of a much wider set of beliefs. In recent years the concept has moved across from the religious context and become a secular concept as more people have become interested in it and appreciated it’s value in our hectic world.
Martha Langley, author of Mindfulness Made Easy, says Mindfulness is a way of learning to live with yourself and the world you find yourself in.
What does it mean to be mindful?
When you are mindful you are fully present in the moment, you accept whatever is happening and whatever you’re feeling, and you do so without judgement and with kindness to yourself and others. You are fully present in the moment, not worrying about the future or letting the past influence your thoughts.
You can be mindful in how you relate to others, how you cope with the demands of work, how you manage anxiety. In fact you can apply mindfulness techniques to many and all aspects of your daily life.
Try this Three Minute Breathing Space below…
Three Minute Breathing Space
This is a kind of mini meditation. You can use this throughout the day at any time and is useful when you want to introduce an element of ‘detachment’ from one task to another or from a difficult situation.
We all tend to take breathing spaces throughout the day, without necessarily realising it, but this is a more formal way of structuring a tiny break that will send you back to your tasks with renewed energy.
It has three components and as long as you include all three you can actually make it shorter than three minutes.
- Awareness – take your awareness into your particular present moment. This means switching off your mind’s autopilot and checking in with yourself. Briefly take your awareness to your breathing. Check your body and accept any sensations, whether pleasant or uncomfortable. Check any part of your body that tends to tense up when you are stressed or emotional. Become aware of your thoughts and try to disengage with them. Finally, take awareness of your emotions and accept them, whether good or bad.
- Breathing – take your full attention to your breathing, and observe it without trying to change it. (If you feel it changing as a natural consequence of stopping what you were doing, that’s fine too). Pay particular attention to your stomach and feel your breath moving in and out of your body
- Expanding Awareness – the third step is to let your awareness expand out from your stomach, using your breathing as your guide. Let yourself breathe into the rest of your body and feel the peaceful energy that breath delivers
The stages follow a pattern with stage one creating an awareness of your whole being as it is at that moment. Stage two brings your awareness in to the small area of your abdomen where your breathing is centred and stage three opens your awareness back out into your whole body creating calmness and energy.
Mindful Colouring has become a way for some people to switch off the mind’s autopilot and help bring them into the present in a calming way.
Try colouring in our Mindful Mandala below (click the image for a full size version to print) …
If you would like to know more about how Mindfulness can help you in your daily personal and work life then contact People at Work
020 3286 1545