What’s this mindfulness mumbo jumbo everyone’s always talking about I hear you ask? Imagine a room full of kids running around playing and screaming at the top of their lungs. Your mouth is taped shut and you have no control over them, what they say and what they do. Imagine this happens all day and all night 24/7. Sounds fun, doesn’t it. This quite often is the same as what’s going on inside our brains, and the brains of those around us. Mindfulness is like a polite way of removing the tape and telling everyone to shut up and keep quite for a minute, so you can catch your breath and be in the moment… so you don’t go postal!
Why is it Important?
We’ve heard of the paleo diet, but what about the paleo mind (damn that’s good I wonder if I can patent that phrase)? Once upon a time, our brains only ever really thought about survival and replication. See food, get food. See mate, ….. I’m not gonna go there. Then, rinse, wash, repeat. That might be an over simplification, but you get what I mean. But in the modern technological-world, our minds are bombarded by so many thoughts (around 60,000 per day actually) and so much noise, that they can’t help but get filled up with a heap of crap that we didn’t even choose to put in there.
From the news, to TV and the supposed “reality TV” to social media and everything else in between, that quality of information going into our brains can be questionable to say the least. Before you know it, we’re feeling a heap of pressure – to look or behave a certain way, to pile up a certain amount of possessions/likes/followers etc– all of which leading us to a constant feeling of stress. Instead of technology making our lives easier, we’ve just become more accessible to everyone and constantly required to be on or available.
Mindfulness is a great way to consciously clear the crap, quieten the mind, and be in the moment.
Why Should I Try It?
So now I know what mindfulness is, and what it does, the next question I hear you ask is why should I bother with it. Great question, gold star for you! Did you know that the mind and the body are connected? What we once thought was hocus pocus and mad science from witch doctors, has now become a scientific fact. What you think affects how you feel. And it’s not just what you consciously think of but its all the unconscious BS that you don’t even know you’re thinking, that has the greatest effect on you. Scary right. You upgrade your smartphone right? So why not upgrade your mind?
In the modern world, especially in the west and the wellness industries, we are bombarded with information on what we should do for optimal health. We’re told to watch our weight, count our calories, go on a detox, have a green smoothie or juice (no time, try our Super Greens mix it’s yummmmm), reduce sugar intake, cut carbs, remove anything processed from our diet, “HIIT” the gym 6 times a week including Yoga/Pilates/Strength Training, take our pre and post workouts, drink 2 litres of water, have fermented foods, look after our guts, get enough sleep, and do everything else to prolong our lives (damn that’s a lot, I need a rest just thinking about it all).
Although many of the above have their merits and can improve the quality of our lives, the single most important factor in our lives, which affects our body and mind, is often neglected. But it’s now getting its moment in the spotlight and we couldn’t be happier.
Mindfulness improves the quality of our lives, our thoughts and encourages us to be in the present, instead of dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. Why, because it’s only in the now that we can participate in, and enjoy this wonderful thing called life.
Because what’s the point of a 6-pack, toned butt and low body fat percentage, if you’re constantly stressed out/rushed, impatient with everyone around you, feel like shit on the inside, and your mind controls you instead of the other way around (damn – blog 1 and I went there already). As I keep telling people, it’s Mind over Booty (I should really trademark that too).
What’s the easiest way to do it?
Before we start, we need to get focused and concentrate, because the next simple 43 steps to practice mindfulness can change your life! So before we start, put your phone on do not disturb, pause Netflix and mute Spotify. Now breathe deep through your nose, feel the air rush through your nose and your chest start rise and then breathe out hard through your mouth. Feel the breath hit your lips on the way out and your chest fall. Stop. Pause. Repeat 5 times.
OK, now are your ready for those 43 simple steps. No. Phew. We aren’t either. The good news is there are no 43 simple steps, you’ve just tried mindfulness at its fundamental – mindfulness breathing. Congrats. You’ve just paused your monkey brain for the first time in God knows how long. Do this a couple of times a day. Like, maybe when your waiting for one of superfood lattes or teas to cool down (shameless product promotion #2). Incorporate this and any other mindfulness techniques a few times a day and see how it can change your life.
Where do I learn more about mindfulness?
We’re friends now yeah? I’ll give you the same answer I give all my mates. Google it. No seriously, google it. There are 1000’s of them online that it’d be a waste of both our times if I wrote them here and you had to read them. The best starting point I’d say is to apply mindfulness to your breathing, brushing your teeth, showering and eating. Why, you ask, well because you do these activities each day and can easily incorporate them into your routine. Well at least you should do them everyday. Come to think of it, when’s the last time I had a shower?