Why Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is such a catch phrase at the moment!

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness is ‘paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.’ Similarly, Morgan Cash and Koa Whittingham’s 2010 publication in Mindfulness views mindfulness as ‘the capacity to observe, describe, and act with awareness of the present moment experience, with a nonjudgmental and nonreactive attitude’.

This is broken up into five separate parts. Mindfulness is a capacity to:

  1. Observe the present moment experience
  2. Describe the present moment experience
  3. Act with awareness of the present moment experience
  4. Have a nonjudgmental attitude toward the present moment experience
  5. Have a nonreactive attitude toward the present moment experience

To check out Morgan and Koa’s mindfulness research click here!

Why bother?

Well, increasing any single one of these five points is correlated with increased wellbeing, according to the Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness!

Just looking at picking one?

The ability to act with awareness of the present moment experience is correlated with lower levels of depressive symptoms.

Oh you might just change your mind about choosing one because… having a nonjudgmental attitude toward the present moment experience is correlated with lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress.

So how do you get going?

Sloooowwww dooowwwnnn……….

There are many ways to begin being more mindful. Some simple ones are:

  • Breathe… Breathe in… and breathe out… slowly… deliberately…
  • Relax your shoulders and release tension in your body – really concentrate on how your body feels in that moment.
  • Noticing and valuing every moment and slowing down to accomplish this – and when I say every moment I mean every single moment. Not just the good ones! Valuing the moment for what it brings and accepting this.
  • Stop multitasking! Just do one thing at a time – and do it deliberately.
  • When you’re talking to someone, be ‘all there’. Leave your phone in your handbag. Stop yourself from thinking what you will say next, the point you want to make, what you will cook for dinner. Just listen deeply.

BUT the most well researched way to improve all aspects of mindfulness (minus the acting with awareness of the present moment part) is meditation. Meditation can include slow inhalations and exhalations, relaxing tensions in the body, and noticing thoughts while accepting them in a nonjudgmental and nonreactive way. I highly recommend the Smiling Mind App and Website.

They have so much information on the science behind mindfulness and meditation. Most importantly it has individual, age specific programs to follow. You can choose whether you would like music or just to hear a guiding voice. This FREE app is available on both Apple and Android platforms and can be used by meditation masters or beginners alike. For those of you with littlies, the kids can join in with targeted age brackets!

I am setting you a challenge

Download the Smiling Mind App and do two meditations per day for 14 days (one first thing in the morning and one just before going to sleep at night). Just one fortnight – that’s all! Then share your thoughts with us below. We love learning about new ways to become more mindful and hearing what works for you!

Don’t forget to share this around with your friends and family on social media. Spread the mindfulness. Let’s all stress a little less!

 

Amy Kate

Author: Amy Kate

Amy Kate, the founder and owner of The Mindful Collective, is passionate about helping bright-eyed young women experience a little more wellbeing with a lot less stress. She is on a mission to empower young women through building their mental health and wellbeing. Her days are filled with learning to dance, listening to young women discuss their lives, eating homemade granola and bubbling with laughs.

www.themindfulcollective.co

@themindfulcollective

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