I used to think of mindfulness as something that just came with meditation, that mindfulness was a technique, a trick that needed to be practised and perfected, something that took ages to learn. Meditation is already something I do on a regular basis, but is mindfulness really only restricted to those 30 peaceful minutes?
The more I thought about it, the more aware of I was of how we all practise parts of mindfulness, we do it every day, without even thinking about it.
A big part of being mindful is learning how to be present in the moment.
Being fully aware of what’s going on right now. Not worrying about things that happened in the past, or planning for the future. Just letting those thoughts pass through you, not giving any attention or acknowledgement to anything that isn’t happening this exact second.
So, couldn’t this be achieved just by having a hobby?
Think back to the last time you were concentrating on something you really enjoy doing. It could be stamp collecting, reading a book, or even playing video games. What went through your mind, were you thinking about anything other than what you were doing at that exact moment?
For me, it’s the gym. When I’m lifting weights I don’t care about the past or its events. I’m not thinking about that mistake I made last week, or worrying about an upcoming deadline at work.
I’m just fully aware in the present. I’m concentrating on one thing.
Making sure the weight I’m holding doesn’t squash me.
I’m paying attention my body. How it feels when I make the lift, where it hurts, what parts of me ache, which parts of me should be moving and which shouldn’t.
This is mindfulness
Ok, so the gym might seem like an odd place to be mindful. It’s always said that mindfulness comes from relaxation. Achieving mindfulness in a place where aggression ,testosterone, and sweat fill the air is something that may seem impossible. But in these 90 minutes my mind is doing nothing else but being present in the moment.
So if you’re trying to be mindful, a good place to start is finding a hobby. Something to really occupy your mind for an hour or so a day.
If you’re stuck for ideas, then I highly recommend weight lifting!