Mindfulness can be practised by everyone. It has been used for many years and helps people take a break from their thoughts and the busy world around them.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has become very popular thanks to its many benefits. When we talk about Mindfulness, we refer to the act of paying attention to the present moment, exactly as it is, without trying to change it or avoid it. It helps you observe thoughts as thoughts, rather than getting caught up in them.
Why should I practice it?
There are so many amazing benefits. It can help with:
People who live with chronic pain and difficult health conditions.
Focus and concentration.
Sporting, academic and work performance.
Your resilience and the way you cope with high stress and demanding situations.
Is it difficult to practice?
Mindfulness can be practised in lots of different ways. A great place to start is in a quiet space where you cannot be disturbed. By breathing deeply and focussing on your breath only, you give your brain a break from thoughts and emotions. This isn’t always easy, and you shouldn’t worry if your mind starts to wonder. It’s very normal for your brain to try and return to its normal thoughts and lots of practice is needed to help you focus. Although it takes time, the benefits are worth the effort!
To keep practising, you can include mindfulness in parts of your day. Every time you wash your hands, focus only on the sensation of water on your skin. When you walk from your car or the bus, focus solely on how it feels across the bottom of your feet. Practising small amounts often means your brain starts to know when to switch off thoughts. If you struggle to find 5 minutes at the start of your day, try deep breathing for 30 seconds ten times a day.
How should I begin?
Try testing some of the above suggestions for yourself. Purchase a book or go to the library to learn more. A simple internet search can also provide you with much more information. If you’re struggling with thoughts and emotions, CatholicCare NT can help you find a counsellor who can guide you.