January is the month for Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of your surroundings, how you feel right now and not thinking about the future or the past. Mindfulness is conscious effort to pay more attention to the present moment and to the world around you. Think of the way a child sees a cloudless sky or a daisy on the lawn. Rediscover the first taste of vanilla ice cream and remember how it feels to have that childlike curiosity of discovering new things. Live in the moment and see everything afresh without judgement or worry. Use January as the month to start to experience life again rather than simply getting through it.
It has been shown that mindfulness practices of meditation have psychological and cognitive benefits. Mindfulness can help to extend your life with improvements in perception and well being and it can even delay the ageing process. There are numerous simple ways that you can practice mindfulness and as with most things, the more you practice the better you get.
Here is a very simple tip for mindfulness that you could try at work.
The 10-step walk.
Find a space in your work place where you can walk a number of steps, for example, 10 steps to a window or a door that opens onto the outdoors. Focus on a picture in the office and then mindfully walk between the picture and the open door or window. Simply walk the 10 or however many steps required towards the door or window and think about the action of the walk with lifting, shifting and placing your feet as you walk. Lift the heel, shift the foot forwards and place it down. If your mind wanders bring your thoughts back to the two points you are walking between.
Focus on walking between the two images to keep your mind from wandering and focus on the soles of your feet and the repetitive instruction to help to re-centre and let go of worries and anxieties. It may help to imagine you are creating footprints as you walk.
You may notice that you are walking more slowly and that your awareness is occupied with the lifting, shifting and placing of your feet. When you have done the 10 or so steps in one direction take your time in turning around. Notice how your hips swirl round very gradually as you turn and before you start your next set of steps, stand for a moment and mindfully root your feet to the ground. With every passage you make it is possible to feel more and more grounded and safe.
Try this with an attitude of openness and curiosity, as if you were a child and see how you feel when you step back to your desk.
When you drink, just drink. When you walk just walk – Zen saying.
If you are interested in Mindfulness and would like to learn more go to http://absolutemindfulness.weebly.com/