Meditation has been very well known for centuries, mostly in Eastern cultures, including India. Western cultures often do not practice this old art, although it has recently made a comeback in a completely new form. The assumptions of meditation, however, are unchanged and constant – they aim to improve our well-being and make our day better.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a slightly modernised version of an ancient art of meditation. The famous Prof. Jon Kabat-Zinn worked on the scientific basis, who developed a very effective training, called MBSR – mindfulness based stress reduction. Developed in the 1970s, this psychological and medical program was designed for people suffering from hypertension, neuralgia, and depression.
Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of being mindful in one’s daily life. During meditation exercises to reduce stress, we train ourselves to focus on our breathing, but also repeat motivational mantras and learn to understand and notice the thoughts that arise throughout the day. By noticing our emotions and the thoughts they trigger, we become more aware of ourselves and learn about our limitations. We can understand ourselves much better, but also notice everyday life. Morning coffee, or even a moment of relaxation in our armchair will be more complete, if we focus on ourselves and this moment, which is just going on.
What are the main principles of mindfulness?
The main tenets of mindfulness meditation are:
- Enjoying the given moment fully.
- Not running thoughts into the future or the past.
- Coming to terms with the past and not dwelling on it.
- Forgiving yourself and others.
- Becoming more focused on what you are doing at any given time.
- Calming your thoughts and putting them together.
- Reducing chaos in our actions and thinking.
- To delegate some of our responsibilities in order to have more time for ourselves
- Recognize and accept our limitations.
- To exercise assertiveness.
- To be grateful for each day we are given.
Our beginnings with mindfulness can be difficult, because we get very distracted in our daily lives by various activities and we also often return to overdue matters. However, mindfulness exercises will help us to get rid of excess stress and understand what is really important to us. All thoughts that deal with the past tense should be put aside. This does not mean, however, that you should not plan for your future. It is good to have your own plan and goals, but worrying about the future should not distract you too much. Finding the golden mean between rationality, emotions and our planning takes some time, but it gives great results.
What are the most important positive aspects of mindfulness and how can it help us in everyday life?
- We will get rid of excessive tension and stress,
- we will experience our everyday life in a deeper and more joyful way,
- we will reduce our inner conflicts,
- it will be easier for us to keep a healthy distance,
- find new solutions to everyday problems,
- we will perform tasks with better concentration and much faster than before.
How best to practice mindfulness on a daily basis?
Try to focus only on each activity. Do not dwell on the past or worry about it. When we eat a meal or drink our favorite coffee, let’s focus on its taste and clear our mind of other, unnecessary thoughts. Let us carefully analyze our emotions and state of mind. Don’t hold back your emotions and express them clearly and distinctly. Let us also try to enjoy small achievements or joys. It can be a beautiful sunrise, which we saw right after getting up from bed, or the joy of being with a person we love.
Can mindfulness also be applied in private life?
Mindfulness is mainly used in professional work, but it will also be very useful in everyday life. By being in the here and now, we can notice a lot of things that we didn’t appreciate before, such as a warm meal, tasty coffee or the closeness of people we care about. Nurturing gratitude is also one of the principles of mindfulness meditation, so it’s important for us to be grateful every day for what we have