Mindfulness in 15 minutes a day: A guide for beginners
Mindfulness involves learning a skill that can be introduced in a few sessions and be with you for the rest of your life. It is
- a skill that can help you to relax
- a skill for health and well-being
- a skill to sooth and calm the mind
- a skill that can give you the resilience to thrive
Mindfulness, is a meditation technique aimed at focusing the mind on the present moment, produces measurable improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression, alleviate feelings of stress and enhance quality of life.
So what is mindfulness, and how does it work?
Mindfulness aims to achieve a relaxed, non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings and sensations by knowing what is going on inside and outside our body, moment by moment. In everyday life, mindfulness is about learning to direct our attention to our experience as it unfolds, rather than ‘living in our heads’.
The challenge is that the pace and stress of modern living leaves us ‘caught up in a stream of thoughts and feelings’, trapped in past problems or overwhelmed by future anxieties. By connecting with the present moment, we can calmly observe our thoughts, feelings and sensations to become more directly aware of them. Mindfulness practitioners become more able to manage all aspects of our life.
‘Bitesize’ Mindfulness Practice
So how do you do it?
Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, and enables the building of inner resources.
- Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills. You do need to set aside some time and space.
- Observe the present moment. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement.
- Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgements arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.
- Return to observing the present moment. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
- Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.
That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.
Start today. Find a little time for yourself. In fact, setting aside even 15 minutes a day is often tough, and stopping the mind wandering even tougher, but through practise it becomes easier.
We have courses that can help you and have our own range of mp3 downloads that can assist you.
Susan and Ian