Mindfulness has been around for over 2000 years, and has been present in psychological therapies for around 50 years. In essence, mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement. It helps us to focus and to increase our awareness in the present, and to let go of unhelpful thoughts. When we practice mindfulness it can help us to ground ourselves, be more engaged in life, and improve our wellbeing and feelings of calmness.
Some of the benefits of mindfulness include IMPROVING or INCREASING:
- Feelings of relaxation, tranquility, and wellbeing
- Concentration and attention
- Physical health
- Coping and resilience
- Emotional wellbeing and positive emotions
Other benefits of mindfulness include REDUCING:
- Overthinking or catastrophising
- Negative, or worried thoughts
- Symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health difficulties
- Negative emotions / stress or distress
- Feeling overwhelmed
Mindfulness is easier than you think! You don’t have to empty your mind – our minds are prone to thinking but we can direct our attention in more helpful and effective ways, and reduce negative and anxious thoughts. This in turn can improve our physical and emotional health and wellbeing. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. It can be practiced like a traditional meditation or it can be used flexibly throughout our day or our week. With practice, mindfulness begins to feel natural and comfortable, and becomes more effective.
One of the easiest ways to begin to practice mindfulness is to stop and “smell the roses”. Take just a few minutes to truly pay attention to what you can see, hear, feel, smell and/or taste, letting any thoughts that show up come and go, without getting caught up in them.
Here are some helpful apps to get you started with mindfulness practice:
- Smiling Mind
- MyLife Meditation (previously "Stop, Breathe & Think")
Our clinicians at The Hummingbird Centre are skilled and experienced in assisting people to learn and implement mindfulness practices.