Why bother with Mindfulness?
Would you like the ability to stay calm regardless of what is going on around you?
Kobe Bryant was introduced to mindful meditation by a coach who transformed the way he worked both on and off the court. One of the biggest advantages he found through adding it to his life was the clarity and energy it gave him off the court, and the ability to remain calm oncourt, even when the opposition team was hostile.
Today we have so much to distract our minds, and often the only time we get to give our minds a break is when we go to sleep. For this reason we can feel tired, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and easily triggered by what is going on around us. Often, even the activities we choose to do in order to wind down, will continue to activate the brain, draining energy even if enjoyable.
Mindfulness is a process that can be learned as a brain/mind skill. It is a way of actively choosing to connect with yourself, to be aware of your inside and outside experiences at any point in time, without having to use our brains to critically think about what we are experiencing. Instead you can act as the observer, just noticing and letting whatever is unfolding happen – without feeling the need to grab hold of and do anything with it. This simple process allows the mind to relax and re-energise whilst still awake.
Often the benefits that you will find in bringing this practice into play are not easily visible. People newly adopting this skill into their life will often tell me it has provided more awareness through their day of emotional triggers with themselves and others, and more clarity around how to respond. This ability to regulate their emotions allows the person to feel more calm in their everyday life and equips them with skills to be able to quickly reduce a stress response due to that awareness and regular practicing of the skill.
How do you practice Mindfulness?
If you are new to this process, it is worth commencing with someone like Cindy, trained in MBSR and Mindfulness, as it will give you the general understanding of what you are doing and accountability you may need to turn it into a new habit. You can book in with Cindy as an individual or company in our studio or via phone or Zoom, or you can join Cindy on a Saturday afternoon at 3:15pm for a FREE online Zoom mindfulness class.
Contact us today if you’d like to join us!
Mindfulness can be practiced in two ways. The first is by paying close attention to one particular activity and ignoring everything else (not thinking about what has happened or what you need to do) eg: music, cooking, gardening, fishing, running, yoga, walking the dog, playing with the kids etc.
The second more formal practice is meditation, where you remove yourself from normal activities, and find a place to go inside and pay careful attention to everything going on inside you, and observe your thoughts without having to take them on as needing to do anything with them. In fact, you may notice how many thoughts you do have, and just gently keep returning your attention to breathing, which allows you to release from trying to do something with those thoughts. Seeing how often your mind wanders is part of the reason why we do it. After the process it oftens provides a feeling of lightness and clarity of mind.
When we can fully connect with ourselves we can relax, re-energise and allow ourselves to be in a much better place to connect with others – a vital part of being human!