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Home > Ian Dewar's mindfulness blog

Ian Dewar's mindfulness blog

Posted by admin on November 29, 2016

Mindfulness, it’s a buzz word, everyone’s doing it - which is precisely the wrong thing!

Mindfulness, a modern word for meditation, is coming more into vogue but meditation, or mindfulness if you prefer, is not about doing, it’s about stillness.  Being busy is easy; being able to be still is a life skill.  What’s more it’s a life skill that brings plenty of positive benefits.  Here’s a few:

  • Being still allows you to realise how stressed you are.  Very often we don’t realise that we are stressed until we hit an emotional or psychological brick wall.  Sometimes we can even talk ourselves in to stress.  Learning to be still allows us to monitor ourselves a bit better.
  • Being still helps us to think more clearly.  It allows us to sit back, take a mental deep breath and assess problems differently.
  • Being still can help us to learn more effectively.  Speaking as a dyslexic I’ve benefited more from meditation than any number of ‘techniques’ that people try to give me.
  • Being still can allow people to deal with nervous situations.
  • Being still is a good way to start and end the day.

So where does Mindfulness come from?  Essentially it is a modern secular development on an ancient religious practice, so you don’t have to be religious to practice it.  Its current form has been championed by a man called John Kabat-Zinn from the United States (cool name!)

I always think that a good example of meditation is Usain bolt.  If you ever see him just before the start of a race, he is completely focused, completely unaware of any surrounding noise, absolutely still waiting for the starting pistol.

Having taught mindfulness for nearly 25 years to everyone from young people, older people, children and people approaching the end of life, I am now teaching a group of employees from the RLI in order to see what they can gain from it.  It’s not a cure all for life but it is a very well tried life skill.

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