You might be reading this blog thinking I don’t even know what mindfulness is?
Or, you might be an expert who has come to test their knowledge.
Either way, we hope the 12 Q&As below will help develop your understanding of what Mindfulness is and how you can practice it in everyday life!
1. “So, what is Mindfulness?”
Rather than just a boring definition, let’s try this…
How many times have you…
- Travelled somewhere or commuted to work, only to arrive wondering how you actually managed to get there?
- Quickly eaten a snack on-the-go, and not really tasted it at all?
- Watched a TV programme and felt frustrated afterwards when you can’t fully recall the storyline?
These are all examples of mindlessness and living the autopilot way of life.
48% of people’s waking hours are spent mind wandering. Yes, 48%!
Very often we are not present in our own lives. The majority of our minds are elsewhere. Habitually thinking away, usually about the past or the future. Planning. Worrying. Creating future scenarios that most likely will never happen.
This is where Mindfulness comes in and why we are so passionate about encouraging people to try it!
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Now let’s make this clear – mindfulness is not simply a set of techniques; it is a way of being.
Being mindful means to have a conscious awareness of your everyday life. That is, being fully present, being more in touch with life in the very moment that you are experiencing it.
Practicing mindfulness can transform everyday experiences and make them more vivid, fun, enjoyable and rewarding.
Becoming more mindful will enable you to stop rushing through your days, to step out of the autopilot way of life and to experience life in the only moment you can control, the present moment.
2. “What does mindfulness feel like?”
This completely depends on your experience and the situation you are in at any given time. Mindfulness isn’t one particular state or experience.
Mindfulness is a deepening into the feeling of the experience you are having at various moments throughout the day.
Key Point: As mindfulness involves focusing more on the experience of the present moment, this experience could well be pleasant or unpleasant. The key is to learn to observe your feelings and thoughts as they happen, almost as though you are watching your thoughts as a third party. Simply acknowledge them, without engaging in them, and let them go.
The aim of mindfulness isn’t to change your experience throughout the day. Instead, the aim is to develop your relationship with your experiences. You will be able to fully experience the present moment.
3. “Where does mindfulness originate?”
The roots of mindfulness go back to the early teachings of the Buddha and even further back to the ancient meditations practiced by Hindus.
The word mindfulness originates from ‘sati’ – meaning awareness.
In the last few decades, mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular in the West, yet the practice mindfulness dates back to over 2500 years ago!
Modern forms of mindfulness are taught and practiced in a non-religious way (100% secular i.e. not connected with religious matters).
4. “Who is mindfulness for?”
Literally, anyone that wants to live their life fully experiencing every moment of it…. Who wouldn’t want that?
And the benefits extend beyond fully experiencing precious moments of your life….
5. “What are the benefits?”
- Become more in touch with how your body is feeling
- Learn to manage your thoughts and see things as they really are
- Improves decision making – with a clear non-judgemental mind
- Improve your communication with others
- Increase your productivity and attention span– remember, around 48% of people’s days are spent mind wandering!
- Mindfulness enhances creativity
- Help improve sleep
- Grow in gratitude – focus on appreciating the small things in life
- Compassion – unleash your inner human desire to help others in need
Meditation can help you unleash these benefits.
6. “But, what exactly is meditating?”
Many definitions of meditation describe it as a conscious awareness. Simply, meditation is about focusing on your moment-to-moment experiences in a non-judgemental way.
Simply, meditation is about focusing on your moment-to-moment experiences in a non-judgemental way.
What many people mean by meditation, is a period of time, for example, 10 minutes, in which an individual might sit down and focus on the present moment experiences.
An example would be focusing on the sensation of breathing. That is, deeply focusing on following the breath with every inhale, noticing how your chest and stomach rise and then fall as you exhale.
Meditation practices help you to develop an emotional awareness. By using a meditation practice, you can become aware of your mind and the thoughts that may arise.
Essentially, meditating helps you to observe your thoughts and take a positive step towards letting them go. This helps create space in the mind and reduce the incessant activity that occurs in the mind.
As a result, meditating can help foster new ways of being and promote positivity in the mind.
Imagine it this way: You are sat down. Thoughts are coming and going out of the mind. If you take away most of those thoughts, what is left?
Just you. Sat there. Being. Fully awake in the present moment.
There are various types of meditation, some popular examples include meditations on scanning the body, happiness, creativity, stress and anxiety.
There are literally thousands of ways to meditate. Why not try our simple breathing meditation here. The easiest way to fully understand is to give it a try!
7. “How often and how long should I meditate for?”
The best way to improve your ability to be mindful is to practice meditating frequently – daily.
We recommend setting aside time to meditate every day.
Go with quality over quantity. 10 minutes of focused meditation is much better than 20 minutes if your spend half of it daydreaming.
8. “But I just don’t have time?”
You might find yourself thinking that you don’t have time to meditate, for example, in the morning before work.
You are probably right!
Therefore, it is better to set aside some ‘me time’ in the morning; even if that means going to bed 10 minutes earlier and getting up 10 minutes earlier.
Whichever time of day you choose, simply dedicate that time to meditating. If you plan ahead you will be much more likely to be consistent in your approach!
9. “Should I close my eyes during meditation?”
Well, you don’t have to! But, closing your eyes will help you to focus your attention on the meditation and avoid external distractions.
10. “Is it better to sit or lie down?”
It is completely up to you!
Do whatever you feel comfortable with.
But if you want our recommendation, meditate whilst sitting on a hard backed chair. It helps avoid the chance of you becoming sleepy. All you have to do is….
- Guide yourself forwards so that you are sitting towards the middle of the chair. This will enable your spine to be self-supporting as you sit upright.
- Allow your shoulders to relax and gently guide your shoulders back, enabling the chest to open.
- Place your feet flat on the floor and allow your hands to rest gently on your thighs.
11. “What should I do when my mind wanders off thinking about various things during meditating?”
Simply being aware that your mind might wander off is a good start! Don’t worry. It is perfectly normal.
Always remember – You are NOT your thoughts – this is absolutely crucial! You don’t need to engage in thoughts. You can choose not to get caught up in them. Here’s how…
When your mind wanders, simply use this as an opportunity to acknowledge the thought.
Learn to spot them.
Say to yourself ‘thinking’. Observe the thought. Imagine that each thought you have is like a cloud in the sky. There are thousands of clouds in the sky.
These clouds come and go throughout the day. In the same way that your thoughts may come and go throughout the day.
So when a thought arises, thank your mind for the thought, and imagine the thoughts floating away like small white clouds in an otherwise amazing blue sky.
Then, gently guide your concentration back to your breath.
12. “Are there any other ways to become more mindful?”
We understand that if you’re new to this, meditating might sound a little daunting at first! Thankfully, there are many other ways to start your Pursuit of Mindfulness!
To help you, we created the ’15 Super Tips To Become More Mindful Cheatsheet’ – and guess what, it is completely free!
Download your free cheatsheet by completing the short form below.
Some of the tips include focusing on how you eat and drink, communicating with people, your posture, how your breathe and how you travel etc. All tips that you can integrate into
All tips that you can integrate into everyday left with minimal effort. Why not give it a go today?