How Mindfulness can Benefit you
Interest in mindfulness has grown in the last few years, apparently because people experience it as immensely soothing and de-stressing.
With practice this effect can be available to you even when carrying out everyday tasks such as commuting or washing up.
Although it evolved from Buddhist meditation, in mindfulness there is no requirement to reach 'enlightenment' or 'nirvana'. This is simply a gentle, relaxing and potentially healing way of pausing from the rush of everyday life, and 'being' with yourself.
Instead of worrying about what is in the past or being fearful or preoccupied with what is ahead, it can be an opportunity to realise that the here and now is actually fine and that you can be content in that.
Different counsellors and trainers may have different ways of teaching or guiding mindfulness but there are some common elements that you are likely to encounter.
You will probably be encouraged to make an internal observation of your body sensations and perhaps your emotional sensations and most importantly, your breathing.
You may be asked to notice when your mind wanders away from this observation of yourself and to bring your awareness back to your breathing.
Your attitude of mind as you practice is influential and adopting a sense of kindness and compassion towards yourself and the fluctuations in your awareness can make a significant contribution to the sense of well-being that many people report.
Like any skill the more you practice the easier it becomes, but with time a deep sense of calm and peace can become more and more available to you.
As part of therapy it can help you to recognise and connect with feelings that may previously have felt unreachable or overwhelming.
As part of your life you may find that you are able to experience and enjoy things in a more satisfying and memorable way.
For further information there are now many books on mindfulness for both professionals and the public and these are readily available via the Internet or larger bookshops.
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