Dealing With Stress
Mindfulness has become popular as a way of dealing with stress and anxiety in the last few years but what is it? Mindfulness is a psychological concept of focusing attention and awareness in the now, based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation but mindfulness is mostly taught independently of religion.
It has two parts -
The first part is the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, increasing concentration on mental events in the present (being in the now). This brings a conscious awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can result in a great improvement in concentration.
The second section involves adopting a particular attitude to the present including, being inquisitive, open, and accepting. This leads to accepting how your mind works, maintaining an open mind, and creating alternative thinking strategies
So it is a bit different from meditation and has a more specific goal than just relaxation. Although it is best to take a course or join a class to be develop mindfulness here are a few exercises to get you started.
Pay more attention to your daily routine and tasks, be aware of what you are doing and complete things consciously, really be aware of the smell, feel and sound associated with what you are doing - e.g driving and you may learn to appreciate the task more
Wake up and spend some time simply 'being in the moment' just sit and take in your surroundings with all senses. The start of your day you will eventually find your nervous system will get used to this and encourage more mindful sessions.
Keep your mindful sessions short and sweet as the brain prefers to work in quick short bursts. A few short bursts are better than a long session, next time you are queuing for something pick something to concentrate on and then tune into yourself for a few minutes.
Try some simple meditation as a way to learn to focus your concentration on yourself, practicing both will improve your focus and help with mindfulness.