13 Feb Understanding Mindfulness
Mindfulness put in the simplest of terms is full, conscious awareness of whatever thoughts, feeling and emotions are flowing through your mind and body without passing judgement on them.
It is about being fully aware of what is happening in the present moment.
Mindfulness is not about clearing your mind of thoughts, but more to try and understand how your mind works. It teaches you to observe your thoughts and feelings as they ebb and flow through your body.
Finding that calm space can allow you moments of piercing clarity and insight.
Psychologists believe in the concept of the ‘negativity bias’ – happiness is fleeting whereas unhappiness lingers.
The ‘negativity bias’ is a notion that even when of equal intensity negatives things e.g. thoughts, emotions, social encounters, traumatic events occur they have a much greater effect on a person’s psychological state than positive ones.
Mindfulness is the practice of tuning into one’s thoughts and breathing while paying attention to the sights, smells and sounds that surround and consume us every day.
Mastered well Mindfulness can allow you to learn that thoughts, feelings and emotions are created just as much by the body as they are by the mind – this is known as ‘embodied cognition’.
To give an example, experiencing stress not only creates anxiety in your mind but it also creates tension in your body. Your body feels tension that then affects your breathing, which tells your brain you are experiencing stress.
Tuning into these thoughts and feelings and adjusting your breathing in response to them, allowing them to ebb and flow as you begin to realise that before too long they will melt away leaving you calmer, happier and with a more insightful mind.