What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being completely present and focussed on the present moment , it simply means being present in what you are doing instead of letting your mind wander or getting lost in your thoughts about the past and future. I personally have been practicing mindfulness for years now and it has helped me relieve stress (besides the laughter yoga that i practice ), it has helped improve my sleep as well especially since going through menopause.

Benefits of Mindfulness.

It is said that the cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism but most religions do include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift our thoughts away from our usual preoccupations towards an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life . The founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center , Professor emeritus Jon Kabat -Zinn helped to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine and demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can bring massive improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes and behaviours. This reminds me of the quote by Eckhart Tolle where he says “Wherever you are, be there totally” because we as humans are always anxious of the next moment instead of being present in the present moment.

Mindfulness and the Christmas Period.

In this article I would like to share the importance of practicing mindfulness during this Festive season. As much we are all looking forward to this period, it’s important that we practice mindfulness so as to avoid Exhaustion , Overspending and Overeating . Taking care of ourselves is crucial especially during this period when we can easily feel overwhelmed and anxious . Taking some time out for your own wellbeing will help you to cope with the feeling of being of overwhelmed and anxiousness better.

Exhaustion during the Christmas period.

Rushing around with a long Christmas to do list can be daunting and stressful . This is when it’s important to be mindful. Focus on the moment and do one thing at a time . A survey found that “one in three adults suffer from holiday burnout ‘, with 36% claiming that the affliction sets in before mid December”. Therefore it’s important that one takes time to practice mindfulness by setting aside time to reflect on what really matters during Christmas like the joy , the spirit and the peacefulness of Christmas.

Overspending during the Christmas period .

A survey found that the average person in the UK gets into £439 of debt over Christmas. Many of us get into social pressure and feel the need to treat our loved ones with plenty of presents and gifts . Everyone feels that Christmas is the special time for us to spend without realizing that over spending can lead to financial difficulties . It’s important therefore that we be mindful of our financial situation and remember that Christmas can equally be wonderful if we just spend quality time with our loved ones because it isn’t spending money that counts , it’s spending time that matters.

Overeating during the Christmas period.

Christmas is that time of the year when a large variety of festive food is readily available at the restaurants, shops and also in the form of gifts. It’s common to have the tendency to over indulge during this period. It is therefore important that whilst we enjoy the food we are mindful instead of being mindless . Try not to eat in front of the TV as watching Christmas movies for hours can be a trigger for mindless overeating. Practicing mindfulness simply means to be mindful of what we are eating , self awareness can help us make the right decisions as to what should be consumed so as to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I hope you find these tips useful and whenever you feel the need to slow down, take some time to breath in slowly, hold it and release, repeat this a few times and repeat to yourself “I am focussed on what I can control”.

Last but not least, wishing you a mindful Christmas and remember; “

Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing “- Jon Kabat -Zinn

A M Gill – Circle of Power Academy