15 February 2013
What's new on the website this month:
Workshops for Business
- The use of Stephen’s Research in Counselling:
Other HeartMind services:
“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally to things as they are.”
That comes from the book “The Mindful Way through Depression”, and the definition is from the co-author Jon Kabat-Zin, a researcher and teacher of Mindfulness.
This way of paying attention takes practice. As we practice, so we start to create new mental habits.
If you have made the choice to be more mindful in your everyday life, then you will probably benefit from some sort of reminder. For example, a reminder that I use is an iPhone app called “Be Now”. Once an hour a soft chime sounds. If people are with me they barely notice it. It reminds me to bring my awareness to my breathing, my body, and to the sensation of what my body is doing - perhaps I am sitting, standing or moving. If no-one is with me, and I'm sitting or standing still, I close my eyes and bring my attention as fully as I can to my in and outbreath for three breaths. I relax my face and body. If I’m with someone, I don't close my eyes, but I still bring my attention to my breath and body, and also bring my attention more fully to the person in front of me.
Other ways of reminding yourself to bring your attention back to your breath and body include sticking a piece of paper to your bedroom wall. On this page you can write the word “Breathe” or “Aware”, or some other word that reminds you to be mindful. This can be the first thing you see when you wakeup. You can have a similar word on your computer as a screen saver. Or perhaps decide that every time you walk up a particular set of stairs you bring your awareness to your breath, body, and your surroundings. Make up reminders for yourself.
With practice, it gets easier and easier to choose to re-focus in a way that relaxes body and mind and brings awareness to the here and now.
If you have any questions or stories about ways you encourage yourself to be more mindful, please email me and let me know, and I can include them in the next newsletter.
Wishing you a mindful month,
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
Thich Nhat Hanh