“Mindfulness” is one of the “buzzwords” of the moment. It can apparently solve all your problems and turn your life into a completely stress-free existence…
OK, so that isn’t strictly true. However, it is growing in popularity and if you have a hectic lifestyle and feel you are constantly exhausted from juggling a variety of different and often conflicting responsibilities it is true to say it could potentially help you.
A useful explanation of Mindfulness is: “Paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
If you really think about what that actually means you will probably come to the conclusion that few of your daily activities are ever carried out in a mindful way. Do you ever drive home from work and as you turn your car onto the driveway wonder how on earth you got there? Or do you have a conversation with your child/elderly relative/friend and five minutes later wonder what on earth was discussed? Do you eat a whole bar of chocolate whilst watching TV then kick yourself because you are supposed to be eating healthily… and worse than that you can barely remember eating it anyway!
Life is often just too busy and as many of us know to our cost, this can result in illness.
Whilst visiting my GP he mentioned a Mindfulness class he had attended and suggested I look into it as it may be helpful. Looking back I feel very privileged he shared that information with me, but I also now know that when you understand how powerful Mindfulness is that you feel a compulsion to share that “secret”.
It does not wave a magic wand and cause all your difficulties to disappear but it does offer you the tools to help cope with a busy life just by the way you respond to situations and the way you actually “notice” what is happening in your daily interactions. It does not claim to be easy either, and practice is needed to allow yourself to break old habits and create new ones.
I attended an 8-week course in Barnsley called “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) to learn the techniques and I certainly found it very beneficial. Yes, there is a financial cost and also a cost in time you need to devote to daily practice but what you learn is truly priceless. (And no, I’m not being paid to write that!) The key lesson I learned was not to be so hard on myself – to allow my brain to slow down a little and to take time to focus on what was important in my life. By doing this I allowed a long-buried creativity to resurface and even dared to venture into the world of self-employment with my business JAWCommunication. Who knows where the Mindfulness adventure might take you?
If you would like to know more about the course I attended, the next one running in Barnsley starts on Tuesday September 9th at 6.30pm-8.45pm and runs weekly in Gawber until Tuesday November 4th. You can get further details directly from the group teacher on: email@example.com
You can find my piece on the experience of “Mindful Eating” here:
Two interesting links offering further information about mindfulness:
JAWCommunication offers a number of services including: Writing copy, features, reports, press releases and speeches. Proof-reading, re-writing and editing services are also available as are Social Media services. It is run by Josie Whiteley who has worked as a Sub-Editor, News Reporter, Writer, Lecturer, External Examiner and College Manager over her 27-year career.
Contact JAWCommunication@mail.com for further details.