Mindful or Mind full?

A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare. William Henry Davies

Are you mindful or is your mind full? We live in an overactive world; from the moment we wake up we are in the ‘doing’ mode. Our minds are racing, thinking ahead, with a sense of being on automatic pilot. It can be easy to get in the habit of going at a faster pace than is natural for us and difficult to recognise the importance of taking time out to recharge.

Trying to keep pace with every aspect of our lives can be exhausting and then we wonder why we are so tired for most of the time. Even making arrangements to meet up with family or friends can be a mammoth task with much co-ordinating of busy schedules to find that available window! Sound familiar?

A really good way to slow down at least for a few minutes in your hectic day is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present and it means living in the moment where we can let go of thinking about the past or the future. There is one easy exercise that you can do just by saying to yourself ‘in’ as you breath in and ‘out’ as you breath out; this will enable you to keep your mind on your breath. Practicing conscious breathing for just three minutes a few times a day can bring a state of calm and relaxation thereby enabling you to slow down and connect with the present moment.

The benefits of mindfulness in preventing serious depression and emotional distress have been proven by clinical trials. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a further development by Jon Kabat-Zinn so if you are interested in learning more then his many books on the subject are a good place to start.