Research shows that we are not mindful around 50% of the day - During these times our body is in one place but our mind is elsewhere, we are not completely present in the moment.
Not being mindful has many detrimental effects and is often counterproductive to achieving what we need to - we often make more mistakes and are less efficient with our time, we feel disconnected from others and miss out on truly experiencing life.
The practice of mindfulness is about bringing your mind and body together, connected in the present moment and being attentive to what you are doing when you are doing it. Research shows that when the mind wanders away from the present moment we often feel worse than if we had been thinking about what we were doing - even if our mind is wandering about positive things!
Here are a few points on the practice of being mindful:
1. You can practice being mindful through formal sitting meditation, or informally, by simply paying closer attention to your life.
2. Connecting to your senses is the quickest way to get present - this can be accomplished by attentively observing what you hear, see, feel, smell and touch.
3. There is a common misconception that meditation is about stopping feelings or thoughts, this is not the case. The practice of meditation aims to bring awareness of these feelings and thoughts and how they come and go - then simply returning to your focus.
4. The more you practice meditation, the less reactive and calmer you will feel in your everyday life.
5. There are many great apps for your smartphone or tablet which you can download that provide simple and easy guided meditation, Headspace is one of our favourites.
You will be pleasantly surprised how incorporating a little calm and observation into your life can work wonders.