Mindfulness (series)

How to stop operating on auto-pilot and live for the moment; Part Three

If after practising these mindfulness exercises you find you would like to integrate mindfulness into your weekly routine, you can explore the field of mindfulness further by purchasing a more in-depth CD. One of the best audio CD’s available is from Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose teachings have led to the Western worlds recognition of mindfulness as a beneficial practice in helping patients to cope with stress, anxiety, pain and depression. As an introduction, his ‘Guided Mindfulness Meditation’ series is excellent, with each exercise typically lasting forty-five minutes. Each CD in the series comes with a full programme that helps you to structure your mindful practise and is designed to assist you in integrating mindfulness into your life.

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How to stop operating on auto-pilot and live for the moment; Part Two

Last week we looked at the vast array of benefits mindfulness brings. Now you can try these simple and quick mindful exercises as your very own introduction into mindfulness:

 

The Three Minute Breathing Space

 

Sit in an upright position with a straight posture. Breath in and out slowly, your belly rising on the in-breath. Examine your body sensations from your toes to your head. What emotions are present? What thoughts are you aware of?

 

Return your focus to your breathing. Feel your stomach rise slowly on the in-breath and fall on the out breath.

 

Become aware of the entirety of your body and the sensations within it whilst slowly inhaling and exhaling.

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How to stop operating on auto-pilot and live for the moment; Part One

According to the Office for National Statistics last year one in five UK citizens rated their anxiety levels as being at six or more out of ten. In today’s world, where calls and emails flood our phones, appointments are crammed into tight schedules and our workplace constantly micro-manages us, it is natural to feel as if we are going through the motions when we go about our day. However, when I think back to my happiest memories they all have one thing in common. In each and every one I was completely immersed in the moment. I was fully absorbed to the point that I lost all self-consciousness. Without even thinking I was left utterly engaged in the here and now. Just to be clear, these weren’t childhood memories but they did have a childlike quality to them, because I was so consumed, it was as if I was experiencing things for the very first time.

 

Whilst at one of the worlds best facilities in 2009, I was introduced to something called mindfulness. Mindfulness is a form of meditation which has gained great medical recognition and is designed to cultivate an experience of living in the moment. However, to stop there would be to sell mindfulness short.

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