When you see someone tweeting about #mindfulness, does it seem a bit strange they’re not spending their time in being mindful instead?
That’s exactly what Emma Reynolds at news.com.au was thinking, so she started to investigate.
In an article published yesterday, she writes:
I’M PRETTY cynical about new-age, hippy trends.
Even now yoga is ubiquitous, I can’t cope with chanting “om”.
So when I saw everyone on Twitter chattering about “mindfulness”, I was bemused.
How do we become more in tune with ourselves and our surroundings if we’re posting sun-dappled shots of our lotus positions on Instagram?
Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is credited with bringing mindfulness to the Western world in a secular form, defines it like this: “Mindfulness is an awareness that emerges when we are paying attention to an experience in a particular way, non-judgmentally.”
Apparently, that means almost anything goes, as long as we can live with ourselves when we really think about it.
And simply being conscious of what we’re doing — yes, even if that’s spending an hour looking at cat gifs — is credited with all sorts of benefits, including better sleep, reducing stress, improving relationships and minimising illness.
Naturally, #mindfulness is a hashtag, with proponents tweeting about how to achieve it in business and in parenthood, how to do it while out walking and how to combine it with our existing meditation habits.
Facebook is stuffed with adverts for mindfulness lessons, interspersed with “inspiring” quotes and testimonies.
Mindfulness can definitely seem “overdone” and very “tabloid” when we get bombarded like this. I must admit Emma has some good points.
Getting back to her article, she shares some of Clara Luxton’s (a mindfulness expert) ideas on this topic:
But Sydney expert Clara Luxton says you don’t have to spend money on expensive courses.
“It’s not something you have to set aside time for, or that requires you to carry extra luggage on a trip,” she tells news.com.au.
“It’s being in the here and now. We have all these sensations, emotions and behaviour and we can choose to focus on any.
“In meditation it’s your breath, but even if you’re not meditating, you can be aware.”
She points out what we are doing, and I notice things I never normally would.
We’re on the phone, as it turns out, and that phone is exerting pressure on my ear. I’m listening to her voice and I’ve got my legs crossed. As usual, I’m distracted by vaguely scanning one of the 20 web pages I’ve got open.
I also notice I’m slightly hunched and a little achey from a gym session last night.
I stop looking at my computer and sit up straight. Is this helping?
Taking a step back to simply observe and breathe often works wonders.
Clara does a great job at explaining how mindfulness is not just a trend, but potentially a life changing tool.
Daily practice of meditation and mindfulness will help build new habits, and a more happier you.
What was your biggest take away from Emma’s article? Please share in a comment below!
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