So you've probably heard the word 'Mindfulness' being mentioned before and most probably associated with topics such as stress, anxiety and depression. But do you really understand what it means?
Mindfulness simply means that you’re specifically in the present.
When someone is mindful, they’re aware of and paying attention to the moment that they’re in, not mired down in the past or future.
When you practice mindfulness, you focus your mind purposefully.
Have you ever driven from one place to another and at the end of your destination, you weren’t aware of the sights you saw or how you arrived there? If so, you weren’t practicing mindfulness. It’s the same concept with every area of your life. You can go through life on autopilot. This means that you can sit down and have a meal, but because you’re not practicing mindfulness, you won’t even be aware of what you had to eat in terms of portion or even the pleasure of tasting it. This is why you can eat something and then wonder later on what it was that you had for dinner. You have to stop and think to remind yourself.
The reason that you can go through life and miss things is because the mind has a tendency to blank or go through the motions when you’re doing something you’ve done numerous times before. Mindfulness is putting a stop to allowing the mind to simply wander unchecked. It means that you direct your mind back to focus on whatever it needs to focus on. When you don’t practice an awareness of your thoughts, you can go through life and miss out on having the best life you could have.
The art of using mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism and the practice has been around for thousands of years. Not only was it practiced to enhance spiritual connectivity, but also to bring calmness, focus, and improve the brain’s ability to think.
Today, many studies have shown that there are multiple reasons why practicing mindfulness can help you create your best life. There are physical health and emotional well-being boosts that can be had when you practice mindfulness. When you become aware in the present moment, it can soothe your emotions and help strengthen your immune system.
The use of mindfulness is tied in with many forms of meditation that are designed to bring self-awareness and rid the body of negative thought patterns. Mindfulness helps center the user and cause him to choose to live fully active in today rather than focus on the past or get caught up in what might happen in their future.
Coloring For Mindfulness
Coloring is just one example of how you can practice being mindful. Thinking about the colors you are going to choose to color a page, focusing on staying within the lines when you color or just immersing yourself in the actual picture is a sign that you are practicing mindfulness.
If you are coloring and find yourself thinking about other things or what you're going to cook for dinner, or what happened yesterday then you are not practicing mindfulness.
You may find it takes you a few practice sessions before you will be able to just 'switch off' your thoughts, but don't give up. It will come with time and continual practice :)
You can get a copy of 'Coloring For Mindfulness', a sampler coloring book of mandalas and patterns from the 'Color Your Way To Happy' series of adult coloring books for FREE. All you need to do is join the 'Color Your Way To Happy' eNewsletter by entering your name and email address in the boxes on the right hand side of this page to get your instant downloadable copy.