posted by on Articles, Mindfulness

We tend to live our lives in the fast lane these days. We rush around seemingly obsessed with instant gratification. We seem to have the lost the notion of slowing down and having the time to stop and stare. Living life in the present and enjoying the here and now can actually help us be more productive and live a calmer existence. We have lost the ability to live our lives in the here and now, instead of focussing on what has happened in the past or may happen in the future. It is no wonder that some many of us are heading for burn out, the way that we rush around. We don’t seem to have the time for so many things anymore including ourselves. Often it is ourselves that stop us from doing the things that we want to, we can get in our own way and stop ourselves from achieving the things that we want to.

In a study carried out at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore data from 47 clinical trial involving 3,000 participants suggests that mindfulness, which is a form of meditation that helps to focus the mind on the present moment, produces measurable improvements of up to 20% in symptoms of anxiety, depression, feelings of stress and can enhance the quality of life significantly.

So what is mindfulness and how do you do it?

You don’t have to go away to a retreat or monastery to do it and you don’t have to be a monk. You can simply be more mindful in everyday activities noticing and becoming more aware of the world around you, by simply watching your thoughts and feelings, the sensations in your body, turning off your auto pilot and being present in your daily lives. Mindfulness aims to achieve a relaxed, non judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings and sensations.  

To achieve this more formal time practicing will need to be spent. All you need is a quite space and 15 minutes every day. You sit in an upright position either in a chair or on the floor, whichever is most comfortable for you. Breathe deeply into your belly, pay attention to your body, training the mind to observe, focus and filter out everyday thoughts. This helps to stop the mind from wandering, but it is not easy and like most things worth achieving it takes practice, but the benefits are worthwhile. Being mindful helps to increase the grey matter in your brain, and increases your brain function. You may be able to develop new ways to solve problems that you could not see before and it is the greatest way to increase happiness and clarity. Suddenly you can find that you have choices and every moment becomes filled with possibilities. Being mindful give us the chance to enjoy the moments that we often miss when we are rushing from one deadline to the next. There are many ways to get started including books, CD’s, courses and apps and most people who try it swear by it. So why not give it go. To find out more go to