As with anything, there's a spectrum of belief, attitudes and perceptions around mindfulness and meditation. Before you're able to appreciate the benefits of a mindfulness practice one has to understand how to relate to it, how practice can be incorporated in to your day to day routine and most importantly understanding the role it can play in helping you.
Before proceeding, stop and drop all thoughts, intuitions and perceptions you have of mindfulness and meditation and simply answer yes or no to the following:
- Do you ever get angry or feel like you have a short temper and find that feeling of anger and frustration lingers for minutes, hours, maybe even days or weeks?
- Do you ever wake up at night or struggle to get to sleep because you feel like you have a busy mind or are worried about something?
- Do you ever feel like your inner voice is negative?
- Are there periods of time where you've been so engrossed in what you're doing that by the time you've looked up and taken a breather you're wondering where the day went?
- Do you ever feel stressed or anxious?
- Do you ever feel disgruntled or upset because you feel someone has done or said something to mentally hurt you in some way?
- Do you ever feel unhappy in your skin?
- Do you ever feel disconnected from people, things or the world?
- Do you ever feel like you've come away from a situation and not fully connected with it as you wanted because your mind was elsewhere?
- Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a situation and are searching for inspiration on how to proceed in life?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions then remain hopeful, a mindfulness practice is ready when you are, and trust me, it can help and change your life in wonderful ways. Starting by giving yourself time each day to aid you in feeling better, being less stressed, more relaxed and having the ability to consume your day to day moments more clearly and contently is something I think we'd all like to have. Then once you feel the positive, lasting experience of such a practice, the desire to go deeper will set in and the knock on affects for good are limitless and the physical and psychological benefits of meditation are too many to ignore.
Until the next time #BETEO