We spend most of our lives thinking about and perhaps worrying over things in the future and mulling over past events. What we are actually doing at the present moment often takes place in a semi-aware kind of autopilot state. We can reconnect with the depth and richness of our lives by learning how to be in the present moment.
Mindfulness is the art of really paying attention to the present moment – which is actually the only time we really do have. For thousands of years it has been realised that when we do pay attention to the present moment we can feel calmer and much more in touch with our lives. Modern psychology research has found that practicing mindfulness meditation can improve feelings of wellbeing and lower levels of chronic pain, as well as ease anxiety and depression and it is now a recommended treatment for these conditions.
The good news is that you don’t need to have lots of time or be able to control your thoughts to really benefit from mindfulness. You don’t even have to sit still, as mindful awareness can be carried into any activity that you do, helping you to appreciate it in a more meaningful way.
I use mindfulness in a variety of ways in my coaching with individuals, from using short guided exercises in sessions to teaching mindful activity to clients to help manage anxiety and depression.