Mindfulness can be spoken of as a way of cultivating awareness by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally to whatever arises in the field of your experience.
Mindfulness as a way of paying attention to the present moment is developed by using specific techniques and is taken further through activities such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage and make sense of them and see them for what they are.
Through developing our awareness of the present moment, or the ‘now’, one becomes more knowing of whatever is happening, whilst it is happening. Whatever is happening can be seen as either internal or external to ourselves. Cultivating awareness of one’s inner domain, one’s external environment and the dynamic relationship between the two means that we are able to experience the fullness of the present moment and begin to understand the preferences we give to all that is going on. With knowing our preferences we are better placed to see through our ‘judging’ self into where our energies are located and directed, we are able to perceive things, internally and externally, as they truly are, through our own veil of likes and dislikes.
Practising mindfulness gives us more insight into our emotions and mind states, can boost our attention and concentration and improve relationships. It’s proven to help manage stress and anxiety, and reduce ineffective habitual behaviours and negative mind patterns. It can also greatly improve your powers of learning and make positive contributions to sporting and professional performance.