Mindfulness: What’s The Big Deal?

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Practicing Mindfulness

BY ANDREAS COMNINOS

If you think mindfulness is nothing more than a load of hippie nonsense, then this article may be the most important thing you read today.

What Is Mindfulness Really All About?

Mindfulness means using your senses to be in the moment

Mindfulness can mean different things to different people, but it basically means ‘pure awareness’ – paying really close attention to what’s happening in your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment in the present without evaluations or judgement about these experiences. It doesn’t require you to sit like a statue with your eyes closed, and it’s not about clearing your mind. It’s an extremely active process that uses the 5 senses to draw us out of our heads, helping us to re-focus on what’s important in the moment.

Why Mindfulness Is Important?

Decades of research has consistently confirmed what contemplative traditions (like Buddhism) have known and reported for thousands of years – mindfulness is good for our minds, bodies, and relationships. It ‘s been shown to:

  • Increase focus, learning and memory
  • Reduce Stress
  • Reduce rumination
  • Increase positive mood
  • Boost immune system functioning
  • Improve communication
  • Enhance relationships

  • How to Become More Mindful?

    Most of us function on auto-pilot. We go through life not really being aware of what we’re doing and thinking, and this gets in the way of us being the people we’d really like to be. The good news is, mindfulness is a skill that can be learned, and practicing living mindfully can help us to break away from any unhelpful and ineffective thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

    Learning Mindfulness might seem tricky at first, but there are many free resources available online (e.g., YouTube and .mp3s) and there may even be local workshops in your community. Having someone experienced in mindfulness show you how to practice can also be really beneficial, so consider seeking the advice of a clinical psychologist. Remember – practice makes perfect.

    Click here to learn more about Mindfulness on our blog.

    Andreas is a Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of clinical experience. He works with adolescents, HSC and university students, adults, couples, and families with a wide range of cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and physical difficulties, and draws from a range of effective, evidenced-based treatments including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Schema Therapy, and Mindfulness to empower his clients and help them to live more meaningful lives.


     

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