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Mindfulness

‘Mindfulness’ is a word we hear a lot these days, but what exactly does it mean? Find out what it is, what the benefits of mindfulness are and how you can start to practise it.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

Have you ever driven somewhere and realised when you arrived that you couldn’t really remember anything about the journey? Or have you ever eaten a whole packet of biscuits when you were planning to only have one? Or have you stayed up much later than you planned, or even all night, watching ‘just one more’ episode of a TV series? All of these are examples of mindlessness. When we live this way, we are not fully awake and not fully living our lives.

What exactly is mindfulness?

When we are mindful, we are more conscious of our thoughts, our actions and what is happening around us. We might notice a beautiful sunset or really listen carefully to what a friend is saying, rather than planning what we’re going to say next. We are also more aware of our own feelings and our thoughts. Jon Kabat Zinn, who has done a lot to make mindfulness popular, says mindfulness is: ‘Paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judging.’

So we are consciously deciding what to pay attention to, we are not worrying about the past or planning for the future and we are not trying to control or stop our thoughts or feelings – we’re just noticing them.

Why is mindfulness so popular now?

For most people life is getting busier and busier. Technology means that we always have something to do and there isn’t much opportunity to just ‘be’. People are often doing two or three things at the same time: texting while watching TV, or even looking at their phone while walking along the pavement. People are working longer hours and bringing work home. All this can make us stressed, and mindfulness can be a way of reducing this stress.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Research shows that mindfulness reduces stress and depression. It can help you to concentrate, have a better memory and to think more clearly. It can also help people to manage pain better and to improve their sleep, and it can even help you lose weight because you won’t eat that whole packet of biscuits without thinking!

How to become more mindful

Mindfulness Day is celebrated on 12 September, so maybe that would be a good day to try a few mindfulness techniques and see if they make a difference. But, of course, you can try these on any day of the year.

A very simple technique that you could try right now is to close your eyes for a couple of minutes and count how many sounds you can hear. This will help to focus you on what is happening right now.

Another technique is to focus on a piece of food, typically a raisin. Instead of eating it without thinking, slow down. Look carefully at it and notice how it feels in your fingers. Smell it. Then put it on your tongue and taste it. Only then start to eat it slowly, noticing how it feels and how it tastes.

Both of these techniques force you to slow down and focus on the present moment, and there are plenty of other ideas you can find online if you want to try mindfulness for yourself. 

Discussion

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Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Yes, I really need to do this thing.
Everyday , I have my meals very fast because there are so many things to do in my mind after my meals. And I didn't want to give much time for eating before. Now I realized it is not good for your mind and also health. We should know and practice mindfulness. Thanks for reminding us.

I used to practice mindfulness and I was somewhat successful. But unfortunately, now I can rarely do it.
This is the best way to increase your energy.

Yes. I had. It really work out great for me.

In the past I have tried to practice the mindfulness but I didn't be able to continue. I'm now trying every evening before sleeping.

Mindfulness is a great tehnique in these modern days.It tells us just to relax in some situations.The best example of mindfulness is song of Dutch singer Douwe Bob.Name of the song is "Slow down" and song tells us just to relax and
to live our lives,and not to worry about consequences.Great article.CONGRATS

Mindfulness is a great tool because in modern life we don't have many times to thinking about our emotions. This technique give possibility to be aware our emotions, feeling and some things which happen in the present. I try to practice this technique one time per day. I take a quiet time, during with I try to observe what happen inside me.

Yes I have tried mindfulness sometimes ,When I cooked, eat and reading. Also when I went to sopping my focus is increase.so day after day make this techniques you become better.

Yeah of course that was my wonderful experience . For me skills required for mindfulness is meditating therefore whatever I had learned about dealing with our destructive emotions, making every single day purposeful , being conscious about each of our actions from my spiritual teacher I had been given my best to this meditation practice in daily life especially in morning time which really assists me to be aware how my things are going and what I will be doing next in every single step . It’s a genuine way of understanding and acting on mindfulness

I think meditation is the best way to be mindful therefore I'm planning to start it doing regularly in the mornings. perhaps usually I find it tough to stay consistent at something but knowing the importance of mindfulness I'll try it anyway.

Hello everybody,

Two years ago I participated in a mindfulness course for touristique guides. More than for my job it help me in my everyday life. I used to worry about every thing, not doing things because of the risks they had. For example I didn't drive because of that. This practise help me to realise that I only can be worry about the thing I can controle not the other people actions. My small circle of actions. One month later I started driving and nowadays I drive every day.

So I recommend everyone to get to know mindfullness.

Best regards

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