Simply put, Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening in your body and in your mind just as it is happening. Instead of going into overdrive at the latest event, being swept away by it or spinning out into excessive emotions, we are present and aware, in the moment and ready to take the next step.
Young children are naturally Mindful. If you've ever watched a young child build a sandcastle, they are totally focussed on the task at hand. If someone knocks their sandcastle, they wail and cry and then, hey presto... they're on to the next thing. They are authentic and life is a natural flow.
As we grow older it seems that rather than a natural flow, our life is punctuated here and there with Mindful experiences, like those times when we are absorbed in an activity, perhaps taking a walk in the forest, a work project, engaging in sport, listening to music, and we have to retrain our brain to be more mindful on a daily basis. The good news is this retraining is possible, it just takes practice, commitment to yourself and a little time. Then, rather than the tendency to be on automatic pilot, where it feels like your body is in one place (the car) and your mind in another (next week or last year) or you that you are running on a hamster wheel, you are present and engaged in the moment, just as it is, even challenging moments and you make wise choices.
Instead of allowing our thoughts run away with us and our emotions to take over, Mindfulness offers us a gentle and practical way to rebalance, to accept and be more at ease with whatever is going on. Then, we in a position to take the next step with more focussed and balanced decisions.
Over time it becomes infinitely easier to reduce stress, to self-calm and to make wise life choices. It just takes a little practice everyday. Link: Centre for Mindfulness.
The Science of Mindfulness Imagine, with a little daily discipline, we can positively change the structure of our brain. Science has shown that after eight weeks of Mindful Meditation, areas of the brain associated with stress, fight and flight, reduces and in areas of the brain associated with calm, ease, focus, well-being, and decision making grey matter is increased.
It's pretty amazing that we have it within us to change the structure of our own brain. That with Mindfulness we can empower ourselves to better mental and physical health, that we can breathe and live a little more lightly.