Mindfulness is ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It helps us to not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness gives back some control over our thoughts and feelings. It helps us to channel our energies productively rather than let them be scattered and erratic.
Many schools are now employing simple mindfulness techniques and practices to help calm and focus students. Some have even replaced traditional detention with meditation and/or yoga sessions to enable the children to gain control of their emotions and reactions.
Livingwell.org.au provides this list of examples of what Mindlessness looks like.
- Breaking things, spilling things, clumsiness, accidents because of carelessness, inattention or thinking about something else.
- Failing to notice subtle or not-so-subtle feelings of physical discomfort, pain, tension etc.
- Forgetting someone’s name as soon as you hear it.
- Listening to someone with one ear while doing something else at the same time.
- Getting so focussed on goals that I lose touch with what I am doing right now.
- Getting lost in my thoughts and feelings.
- Being preoccupied with the future or the past.
- Eating without being aware of eating.
- Having periods of time where you have difficulty remembering the details of what happened – running on autopilot.
- Reacting emotionally in certain ways – feeling like an emotion just “came out of nowhere”.
- Daydreaming or thinking of other things when doing chores.
- Doing several things at once rather than focussing on one thing at a time.
- Distracting yourself with things like eating, alcohol, pornography, drugs, work.
Please do not think that if any of these happens with you, that you are in any way flawed. Having any of these experiences simply means that you are human.
We all have these moments. It’s how we handle them that matters.