Introduction in mindfulness: Give your brain a break.Everyone has the natural ability to observe what is happening around us. Consciously focusing your attention on something particular is something that everyone is capable of. Yet, you often feel rushed or distracted. Your mind can also be full of thoughts about everything and anything, that you forget what you are actually doing. You often live on autopilot and that is regrettable. It is unfortunate because once you are able to focus consciously on what is happening at that moment you will be more creative, flexible, concentrated and feel more satisfied.
Mindfulness teaches you to step out of the autopilot mode and to focus on what is happening now. It concentrates on the worrying, troubled mind.
The training focuses on becoming aware of the moment when your mind alters into a stress pattern.
“I HAVE STRESS, YES!”
This is not the first thing you will think of when you are stressed out. However: most people perform best under stress of, for instance, a deadline. You might call this positive stress. This stress is short-term: body and mind go into the overdrive temporarily, after which a discharge follows. By doing so, stress is meant to deliver a performance with a short yet maximum effort. Afterwards comes rest again. You get energy from this short-term stress period. However, we often have to deal with a constant stream of stress stimuli, both from the inside and from the outside: performance pressure, information speed, sense of responsibility, social pressure, expectations, perfectionism. Also, there is usually little room to return to a natural resting point. With sustained stress you lose more energy than you get back; the “battery” is slowly running out. For someone who practices Mindfulness, stress is an important source of information:
You learn what is going on, how you react to it and how it can be done differently.
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You become increasingly aware of yourself, always and everywhere. You learn to pay attention on what is going on from moment to moment in your body and your mind.
In this way, you create space for alternatives: you can choose a different direction and you can make decisions that prevents stress from taking too long. Mindfulness exercises bring clarity and insight.
Key concepts in mindfulness are:
You do not have to judge, you do not have to strive, start over and over again, be patient, trust and accept.
What can it bring you?
- dealing with stressful situations differently
- become less entangled in thoughts and feelings
- experience less trouble with worries
- being more consciously and less acting on the autopilot mode
- better focus and concentration
- deal with yourself with more generosity and humor