For a number of years now I've been aware of the mindfulness movement, and I have dipped my toe in the water once or twice. But it wasn't until I started a daily practice a few months ago that I really started to see my life change.
At first it was a weekly practice for several months. Then I added two short daily practices; a morning practice upon waking, and an evening one around 5.00pm. With both of these in place, the next opportunity arose to join a 30-day mindfulness challenge. Knowing that I'd already enjoyed my experiences so far, I jumped at the chance.
I'm a couple of weeks into the month-long challenge now and what I've become aware of is that I'm noticing everything when I'm out in the world. Things that previously would not have entered my consciousness on a daily basis now seem to be jumping out at me. When I'm out walking the dog it's like I'm seeing things for the very first time and I'm noticing that even the weeds are beautiful - they have interesting foliage, or a lovely flower, or maybe they're actually from last season and they're dead and dried up, but I'm still seeing them as beautiful. Everything within my sphere seems sharper and more vivid somehow.
The other thing I'm observing within myself is that I'm slowing down. I'm taking more time to do things and I'm no longer rushing from one task to the next. This is something I have been actively working on for many years, having been introduced to the idea by my psychotherapist in my early days of my personal development journey. Since I have been practicing mindfulness regularly I have become aware of the importance of it.
A few very simple mindfulness techniques are helping with any anxiety I might have too. Whilst this is greatly reduced these days, it still pops up from time to time, and being able to refocus on my body or my breath makes a massive difference. What I'm finding is the more regularly I practice mindfulness, the more positive effects I feel.
Keeping it simple is key. A daily practice can have a profound effect on our nervous system. It doesn't have to be lengthy, a few minutes once (or twice if you wish) a day will be beneficial. What I have found is that the more I practice, the more I want to. I have the intention to sit for 10 minutes, but now find myself actually wanting to stay longer. There are many ways you can practice, with apps, teachers, local classes, and of course Google has all of that information for you.
If you practice mindfulness I'd love to hear how it is for you. And if you don't, maybe you'd like to try it.