You may be thinking about learning to practise mindfulness. If so, it’s because you’ve heard about a technique that is in vogue and often mentioned. However, not everyone is clear about what it actually is. In fact, it is sometimes confused with meditation. Is it the same thing? In the following lines we will try to give you the answer.
What do you need to know before learning to practice mindfulness?
Before learning to practice mindfulness, you should know that for experts it is a way of life. It is about living today by being aware of all the experiences you have, feeling interested in them, awakening your curiosity and above all accepting that they are as you perceive them to be. Although it is not the same as meditation, there are times when it is practised.
The term Mindfulness is the translation of the original word, Sati, which comes from a language that has now disappeared. In English, no term has been found that has the same meaning as Sati and these are often used:
- Full attention.
- Full presence.
- Mental presence.
- Open awareness.
- Full consciousness.
Of all of them, the first or the English word Mindfulness is usually chosen.
Going back to the original word, Sati comes from a verb meaning to recall or remember. It is meant to make it clear that you live in the present, despite your memories. Try that when you mentally travel backwards or forwards, it brings you back to the now.
Although it is a practice that originally had a religious origin, it is now completely detached from any religion. It focuses on improving the life of the mindfulness practitioner from different angles.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Mindfulness seeks to connect the individual with himself, with his body, his mind and even with his emotions. The aim is to bring the individual closer to their three most important pillars.
Moreover, when you discover the connection between thoughts and emotions, it is easier to control your mind and not let your feelings run wild in certain circumstances.
It’s about seeing yourself from the outside. As if you were someone else. You start to reflect on how you are, on everything that is happening to you and also on what you have around you. Then you can know better what you think and feel. If they are not in balance, you can work to bring them into balance.
If you think that the advantages we have mentioned so far are not enough, we would like to show you these other advantages that you should also take into account:
- Benefits physical health.
- Helps to have a calmer state of mind.
- Helps children learn self-control.
- Allows people struggling with illness to do so in a calm manner.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Helps to improve concentration.
- Stimulates memory.
- Minimises pain.
- It is a tool to fight against intrusive thoughts, which are those ideas that are anchored in people’s minds and do not let them move forward.
How do you learn to practice mindfulness?
The truth is that if you want to learn mindfulness there are many options available to you. Some people are introduced to mindfulness through books. It is a first approach that can give you a lot of knowledge about this practice.
You will also find a large number of tutorials on the Internet. They will show you many of the keys to this technique. It can be another way to get to know mindfulness better.
However, experts will recommend that you seek professional guidance along the way. They will show you how to reach your goals in less time and how to do it the right way.
Although a professional will be the best person to guide you, we would like to give you a few pointers. Mindfulness blends techniques from other practices, for example, meditation or yoga. However, its aim, as we have already mentioned, is to achieve a state of physical, mental and emotional wholeness.
In addition, the aim is for the consciousness not to judge sensations, feelings and thoughts. It is not a quick process, but it is achieved over time.
It usually starts with a few minutes a day, at a time when you are less distracted and more relaxed. After that, you can increase the time until you reach half an hour a day.
Basically it is about concentrating on breathing and allowing the oxygen to leave your body and carry away all the negative emotions and also those thoughts that cause them. Also, don’t judge them as they leave you.
Learning to practise mindfulness takes time, but now you know some basic steps to take. Don’t forget that it is a lifestyle and you must decide if you want it to be yours too.