What is mindfulness and how can it help?

Mindfulness is a term which is becoming more and more popular, with everyone being told to practise it. However, many aren’t quite sure what exactly it is and what it should be used for.

Essentially, mindfulness is a meditation technique where you focus on the present moment. The goal is to better understand what is going on inside and outside of yourself by paying more attention to your thoughts and feelings.

It’s believed that by practising this type of self-awareness, it helps us to notice signs of stress and anxiety earlier and in turn we are able to cope better with these feelings.

Studies are showing positive signs that mindfulness can improve symptoms of depression, with the NHS now recommending it as preventative tool. Due to its relaxing nature it can also improve sleep, concentration, focus and our general health.

Mindfulness is about finding calm in a hectic, stress filled word. Not an easy feat with today’s ‘go go go’ lifestyles where we feel guilty for taking a minute for ourselves. When you get to the end of a busy day are you able to recall an interesting sound from earlier in the day? A particular smell? Did you savour breakfast or lunch, do you remember how it tasted?

It’s so important to be mindful of our mind and body, not just for our health, but for our happiness too. So, we must start by interrupting this autopilot default setting that we have adopted.

In an attempt to notice the everyday, an easy place to start is with the senses. Pick a regular time and a sense or two to focus on. Perhaps you’d like to practise mindfulness during your journey to work and focus on sight and hearing – what do you notice that you wouldn’t normally? Perhaps you could choose a different place for lunch and focus on taste and smell. By bringing ourselves back to the here and now we become more in tune with how we feel, both mentally and physically.

Mindfulness and the GRAVITY system go hand in hand and it’s a great time to practise this meditation as you’ve probably given yourself at least 20 minutes without distraction. You can use your GRAVITY session to focus on how you feel about the day ahead, or how the day has gone. You can assess how your body feels, is there more tension in a particular area? Do you need to focus on relaxing that area? You can also focus on the senses, what can you hear, feel, see, smell?

If your thoughts start to wander off, you simply bring yourself back by focusing on your breathing and the feeling of relaxation that GRAVITY induces. With daily sessions, the system is your support for everyday relaxation and mindfulness, where you give yourself permission to switch off and unwind.

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