Do you ever get distracted? Of course you have, everyone gets distracted from time to time. It’s a phenomena known as mindlessness, which is when you lose track of what you’re currently doing or experiencing, start to day dream. However, it can be detrimental if we find ourselves focusing too much on the past or the future.
Mindfulness, the opposite of mindlessness, is a state of consciousness which entails us being totally aware of everything we are currently experiencing. It involves focusing on the thoughts we’re having, the emotions we’re feeling, the behaviours we’re doing and the world around us, while also trying not to be judgemental of any of them. This might sound hard at first, but like everything else, it takes practice before you can be mindful all the time.
You may be thinking to yourself, why would I want to be mindful? Mindfulness has actually been associated with many benefits, one of which being improved well-being (Brown & Ryan, 2003). It is suggested this is because someone who is mindful, is able to identify their current needs, as well as any problems quickly and accurately. For example, a mindful person may notice their body beginning to get sick and is able help prevent it, where a mindless person may not realise until they’re completely bedridden.
To practise mindfulness, there are two main methods: formal mindfulness and informal mindfulness. Formal mindfulness is similar to meditation, in that you just allow your mind to freely wander, without trying to restrict or control what it notices or feels. Although, this doesn’t have to be done while sitting, it can also be performed while going for a walk, showering, working out at the gym, or pretty much anywhere you can think of where you don’t need to be concentrating (i.e. don’t do it at work).
If you did want to practise mindfulness at work, you could use informal mindfulness techniques. These techniques are designed to help quickly bring you back to the present moment when you feel your mind wandering off. One method is to close your eyes and notice 5 things around you, such as the scent of the room, the sound of the leaves rustling outside or the noise of traffic. This helps to centre you, allowing you to get back to work while remaining mindful. Other informal mindfulness tasks include connecting with daily activities, such as getting ready of a morning or eating lunch (mindful eating is even a great way to help you lose weight!).
In summary, being mindful is the ability to stop and smell the roses while also improving your general well-being. If you feel yourself getting caught up in the past or the future, contact us at 3488 0483 to book an appointment today.
By Kris Deighton