In this article, Chislehurst Life Coach, Steve Chamberlain, explores the principles and practical applications of mindfulness. If you’re keen to find out more, you can join a four-week mindfulness masterclass series here in Chislehurst – click here for full details and booking.
Mindfulness is very much in vogue at the moment. It’s likely you’ve heard friends or family members talking about it, come across articles in newspapers or magazines, or seen references to it on TV. However, for many of us it’s still a bit of an abstract concept. It may sound intriguing, but what exactly is mindfulness, and does it have any practical use in the real world?
Before we come onto a definition, let’s briefly explore why mindfulness has recently exploded here in the west. Quite simply, it’s because we need it more than ever before. The world we now inhabit is almost unrecognisable to the world our grandparents knew as children. The pace of change we’re driving is unprecedented, and the strain is starting to show, with stress levels and anxiety disorders at an all-time high. Put simply, we’re struggling to cope with the demands of the modern world we’ve created.
While this paints a disturbing picture, our mind – if used correctly – has the potential to handle every challenge posed by modern life with relative ease. Used incorrectly, however, our mind can be an instrument that drives our inner turmoil, breaks our sleep, and creates ever increasing spirals of worry and anxiety. Mindfulness is the way of being that allows us to use our mind optimally in order to thrive, and find peace, in the modern world
Mindfulness is the realisation that we’re not our thoughts, our emotions, nor the circumstances of our life. It’s a new level of conscious awareness that allows us to move from reaction to response and to find lasting peace of mind.
How can mindfulness transform your life?
When we begin to practice mindfulness, we become aware of a shift and start to experience the following:
- Rather than being lost in thought, we’re aware of our thoughts, in the same way that we might be aware of different objects in our environment
- We realise we have a choice as to whether we pay attention to a particular thought, let it pass, or choose to change it. We also become aware that, whatever our choice, it doesn’t really matter too much as we can always choose again
- We experience less conflict and more peace in our life
- We hone the ability to respond rather than react to external circumstances
- We find ourselves living in the moment and experience a deeper connection with the world around us
Everyday application of mindfulness
The upcoming mindfulness series will show how you can practically apply mindfulness to your busy life through everyday scenarios including a stressful commute, challenging day in the office, parenting and chores. For example, mindful attention at work means focusing on one thing at a time and completing it to the best of your abilities. Flitting from task to task has now been proven not to be the optimal way of using our mind. So give yourself space before any task and ask what, at this moment, is most pressing given your current priorities, and how long do you choose to focus on it for? Then commit to maintaining your focus on your chosen task until it’s completed or your allotted time is finished. The resulting quality of attention and work will be significantly higher as a consequence.
Join the four-week mindfulness series here in Chislehurst
If you’re keen to experience more clarity of thought, connection and peace of mind, then you may wish to join the upcoming four-week mindfulness masterclass series here in Chislehurst at local yoga studio, Deva Yoga! Beginning on 7 March and then running for four consecutive Wednesday evenings at Deva Yoga, Steve Chamberlain will guide you through the foundations of mindfulness, its practical application in the world, and more transformational insights that mean you’ll never view your world in the same way.
Steve delivered this series within BBC Worldwide in 2017, for which you can view the case study and testimonials. Testimonials from the 2017 series here in Chislehurst are also included in the film below, and you can see full details and book online.