The clever people at mbct.co.uk have summarised the benefits of practicing mindfulness into the following five points:
- To become familiar with the workings of your mind.
- To put you in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world.
- To notice small beauties and pleasure in the world around you instead of living in your head.
- To be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals.
- To accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time.
Some of the above ideas may sound a little abstract, but when you put them into practice you begin to realise that they are highly practical attitudes. Some of you, (and here Practical Depression is particularly casting a glance at the blokes reading this), might find the notion of inner mental workings and worldly beauties a little woolly. Well, you’d be wrong. Or at least you’d be wrong to dismiss them out of hand.
With the above pointers, and indeed with mindfulness in general, it is about making the attitudes and ways of thinking relevant to you. Trying to rethink your walk to work as pleasant and full of possibilities is as good as marveling at the beauty of a spring daffodil, and saying ‘it doesn’t really matter’ rather than ‘I am twat’ when you mess up an Excel formula is as good as a reevaluation of your relationship with time and space. It’s all about practical, measurable, and manageable changes to the way you think. If you do have some kind of Faustian anagnorisis along the way then that’s all good. Otherwise just get cracking with trying to think more positively and being nicer to yourself.