Present day life is what it is. Whether you lead a hectic or not so hectic life, most of us seem to have forgotten how to take a step back and appreciate what we’ve got and, indeed, how important it is to make the most of every moment. We hurry through life without really noticing much for any length of time, not even our own feelings.
Becoming more aware of the present moment, thinking about the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that we experience, along with our thoughts and feelings throughout the day, can help us enjoy our lives more, appreciate everything more, understand ourselves better and, thus, deal with our problems more easily.
This type of awareness is referred to as “mindfulness” and it is something that can enhance your life immeasurably. Mindfulness serves to make you feel good about life and yourself, helping you to get on with your life in the way that you want. Some people also refer to it as “present-centredness.”
In this consumer society, many people think about wellbeing in terms of what we have: our income, home, car, and other possessions. However, evidence shows that our state of mind and attitude towards life has the biggest impact on our wellbeing.
Mark Williams, professor of clinical psychology at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness can be an antidote to the “tunnel vision” that can develop in our daily lives, especially when we are busy, stressed or tired. He emphasises that awareness doesn’t start by trying to suddenly change or fix anything, it’s about gradually allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. He claims that this lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns and that we can then train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply ‘mental events’ that do not have to control us. Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better.
As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, there are several other practices that can help create a new awareness of body sensations, thoughts and feelings, such as:
- Meditation – a practice that helps you focus your mind, allowing you to eventually reach a higher level of awareness and inner calm.
- Yoga – a practice built on three main structures: exercise, breathing and meditation to improve the health and function of both body and mind.
- Tai-chi – a practice combining deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements which reduces stress and improves balance and agility.
Canary Medical Key can help put you on the right road to a happier, healthier lifestyle. Contact us for more information on our health programmes.
Canary Medical Key – caring for you