What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is more than just a colouring book!

You would be hard pressed to find someone not to have heard the word “mindfulness” thrown about these days. Everyone who has stepped into a bookstore or department store knows that mindfulness colouring books are booming trend (that the industry never saw coming!) But what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a practice that has been derived from Buddhism that has been adapted to work for today’s lifestyle. It is being taught in schools, workplaces, universities and beyond. It is about bringing thought to feeling, creating focus and moving into more of a sensing mode, as opposed to a heightened cerebral mode. There are multiple ways of undertaking mindfulness, commonly by paying attention to the breath or performing a mental body scan, all with the same aim of quietening the mind and developing the skill of resting the awareness to one point for an extended period of time. The three integral features of mindfulness are relaxation, stillness (of both body and mind), vigilance (heightened level of clarity and attention holding concentration). Mindfulness is the action of focused attention in a contemplative nature and it is believed and been proven possible to train the mind to this point, which can lead to a myriad of physical, emotional and mental benefits. The benefits of mindfulness are so vast, most of which are now rooted in scientific studies, so it’s more than just mere theories, feeling good and an excuse for a few moments of blissful quietude. Most prominently though, it assists with easing anxiety, depression, and pain. Read more here.

‘Mindfulness teaches you to recognize [sic], “Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that — a thought, and not a part of my core self”,’ says Dr Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital.

TIP: to get results, practice mindfulness daily.