It sounds a bit woolly; to be present in the here and now. Yet it is something that will keep you grounded with both feet. Like you and me, most people are in their heads every day for hours. You are conducting conversations, past events are playing out again or you are preparing for something that is going to happen. Enormously exhausting when I think about it, at least if you are aware that you are doing this. It can also be just that you go through life without having an idea that you are doing this! It is time to become aware of this and start releasing your thoughts. Yet letting go of your thoughts is not as easy as it sounds. Mindfulness is a proven technique. I started meditating and doing mindfulness six years ago. The release of thoughts during the sessions is getting easier. I’m really mindful on vacation. Everything is new, the environment, the people, the language. Those two weeks a year seem to be so special. Of course they are, but precisely because I experience that vacation mindful. If I could manage to live so mindful all year, wow, I would be able to describe many special moments and probably worry less!
What is Mindfulness really?
Mindfulness is a way to be fully aware of your current experiences. Compare it with attention for the moment. With mindfulness you learn to stop judging. Judge yourself and others. For example, you may be sad or angry at things that have happened in the past. If you hold on to that, the attention for the moment will disappear, and you will feel unhappy.
It is important to learn that problems and emotions may not have the leading role in your life. Everything that gives you attention grows, so pay attention to the things that make you happy. Mindfulness is also a way to get away from the autopilot. How often do you really think about the things you do? Or are you really in your head and putting everything on a scale? Are you a worrier and are you constantly being carried away by your emotions and problems? With mindfulness you learn to relax better and live more intensely. It is a great pity if you live your life on autopilot and are constantly under (self-imposed) tension.
Why should you start Mindfulness today?
In fact, everyone or even every company should invest in Mindfulness. Once you are familiar with this proven technique, this can mean so much positivity in your life. It can prevent a lot of misery, stress and unhappy moments.
Mindfulness is interesting for you if:
* You feel that you are being lived
* You try to sustain yourself in a busy life
* You feel the need for more rest, moments to enjoy
* You have physical complaints due to tension or stress
* You experience difficulty with difficult emotions and want to learn to deal with it better
* You want to have more energy again and be less tired
You may lose yourself completely in your work, which is not exactly what you want, and therefore also energy-consuming. In the meantime your friends call you less, because you say no every time. You are so tired and want to zap or netflix at home on the couch. Is that recognizable? Then Mindfulness is also something for you!
Research into the effects of mindfulness has been explosive in the past 10-15 years, as this graph shows. The results indicate that mindfulness can offer the following:
- Improved physical health and well-being
- Less stress and anxiety
- More resilience
- Better conflict resolution
- Stronger leadership skills
- Improved communication
- Increased focus and concentration
- Improved performance
- Can help prevent depression and relapse
How often should you practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be approached as a sport. When you go to the gym and you want bigger arm muscles, you will have to work hard for that. You have to go to the gym regularly and do the exercises to get more muscle mass.
That is how it actually works with mindfulness. You have to practice this proven technique regularly to get better and to master the technique. You are training your brain. During the Healthy Life Academy retreats, we work daily with mindfulness. We train body & mind to deal with stress better.