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8 Mar 2015

5 Quick Steps to Mindfulness

Mindfulness provides a simple yet powerful way for us to get ourselves unstuck, so that we can get in touch with our own wisdom and vitality.  In a simple sense, mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with no judgement. It is living in the here and now with a sense of wakefulness.

When you are mindful, your mind becomes highly relaxed and alert at the same time.  Three wonderful qualities of your mind will naturally emerge: calmness, clarity and happiness. 

Three aspects of mindfulness: awareness, attention and remembering
  • Awareness: This is where you are conscious of your experiences, like I am now aware of my own breathing
  • Attention: This is focused awareness, where you focus you awareness, so called 'pay attention' (eg to my breathing)
  • Remembering: This is remembering to pay attention to your experience from moment to moment, like counting my breathing.
Ultimately the goal of mindfulness is to develop the capacity to be fully present for whatever is occurring right here and now.  When you have stabilised your concentration by focusing on your breadth, you can expand your awareness to include the full range of sensations, both inside and outside, and eventually welcome whatever presents itself, including thoughts, memories and emotions. 

The great thing about mindfulness is that you cannot do it wrong, short of not doing it at all.  The purpose of mindfulness is to reduce stress, not intensify it. Thus you just have to do mindfulness, no matter how short it is.  

Whenever you find yourself stretched, overwhelmed, stressed or busy, take these 5 Quick Steps to Mindfulness
  1. Do one thing at a time
  2. Pay full attention to what you are doing
  3. When the mind wanders away from what you are doing, bring it back
  4. Repeat step 1 and 2 (do one thing at a time and pay full attention to what you are doing)
  5. Investigate your distractions