Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds DR RICHARD CHAMBERS: At its essence, mindfulness is being in the moment. It’s really about being engaged with what we’re doing in each moment, rather than being in that distracted mode where we’re daydreaming about the past or the future, or caught up in reactivity. And if you think about it, there are probably moments throughout the day, actually, that you’re already mindful and present. If you think about your hobbies, things that you enjoy doing, there’s a pretty good chance that when you’re doing them, you’re engaged in the senses, fully immersed in that activity.
Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds And when you’re doing these things, you’re happy and relaxed, because of course, that’s why we set these things out to be our hobbies, because there’s something about being present and engaged that’s actually very enjoyable. It also increases our performance as we learn to really focus and be present, to listen more effectively, to study more effectively, work more effectively, which is of course why this is being used in health care generally, and more in education. And so mindfulness is an everyday experience of being engaged and present with whatever we’re doing from moment to moment. And of course, that’s relatively easy to experience when we’re doing things we enjoy.
Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds But for most of us, it’s little harder when we’re under the pump at work, stressed, when we’re facing exams, when we’re sitting in peak hour traffic. For most people, these would be times that we would tend to wander off into the default mode of worrying, or dwelling, or caught up in judgments and reactions, or just daydreaming and not paying attention. So in moments like this, mindfulness becomes a practice. And it is something that we can practise. And of course, anything we practise we get better at.
Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds And the practice of mindfulness is very simply to intentionally engage with whatever we’re doing in the present moment, to notice when our mind invariably wanders off somewhere else, and then just to bring it back, and just to practise recognising that we wandered and coming back over and over and over again. And as we do that, we actually, of course, get better at recognising, faster at coming back. We start to rewire the brain. And it becomes a much easier thing to do throughout the day, whenever we need it. There are also a number of cognitive practices as well, such as acceptance, letting go, learning to focus on the present, these kinds of things. And we’ll be exploring some of these.
What is mindfulness and why does it matter?
Watch Richard talk about mindfulness and why it matters.
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