What is Mindfulness?

Lots of people including doctors are talking about Mindfulness and how it can help symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Rather than just tell you what Mindfulness is, here’s an example…

It’s early morning and the boys are still fast asleep.  All is quiet except my mind which is noisier than ever! I sit and drink my lemon water and think about the myriad of things I have to do today.  I can feel overwhelm sidle up to me and creep in, followed by fatigue. Then I start to feel how the pain seeps into my thighs and calf’s and ankles.  My fingers and toes hurt, my legs are stiff and I haven’t even started the day yet. What a way to start a new fresh day! 

Stop Now! Let’s start the morning  another way!

I have made my lemon water and I am sitting down holding the warm cup between my fingers. I can feel the calming, warmth penetrating through my fingers and my palms. As I look at the glass cup I notice how the early morning light catches on the lemon, making it sparkle and shine.  The reflection of the window and plants dance inside the glass, through the water.  I notice the way the lemons float on the surface of the water and the way the mixture of light and dark shades mingle around the lemon slices.  The steam dances in twists and turns as it rises into the cool air from the surface of the warm water. 

Raising the cup to my mouth I feel the warmth on my skin as the steam touches it.  I begin to smell the fresh aroma of the lemon, the closer it comes the stronger the aroma. I close my eyes and breath the aroma deep into my lungs. 

As the cup nears my lips, I feel my thirst increase, and my need to drink. 

My mouth suddenly feels dryer than it did a moment ago, impatience rises. 

I touch the rim of the cup to my mouth, the rim is warm. I take a sip of the warm lemon water and my thirst abates, my impatience is gone.  As I hold the water in my mouth for a few seconds I feel warm water and the lemon tingling on my tongue.  The taste is so fresh,  it actually feels healthy. 

The warmth of the lemon water trickles down my throat causing a fresh warmth and satisfaction to spread through my entire body. 

How would you prefer to start your day ?

The above example is MINDFULNESS. Mindfulness is being aware and present in the experience. The actual experience only ever happens in the present. 

I used more than one sense, I looked, felt and smelled, I was present and mindful of the experience. I didn’t feel pain, I didn’t feel overwhelm or stress about the amount I had to do that day. In this example there are no sounds but if the experience has a sound then listen as well.

How many times does your thinking slip back to the past or to the future causing you needless stress, elevating your symptoms? You are missing much of your life as you are in abstract.

 Become mindful of the experiences that you are have throughout the day with the various different activities you do. You will find your mind wandering (almost everyone’s does even if you have been practicing mindfulness for a long time). Never be harsh with yourself, simply and  gently guide your mind back to the present moment.

Have a wonderful, healthy day xx

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