Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life – like our walk to work, the way we eat or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future – so we get more out of the day-to-day.
Being more engaged in the present moment can lead to a richer experience of the things that might otherwise pass us by while we are wrapped up in thoughts about the past or relentlessly thinking about what we are doing next. For example noticing the leaves dancing on a tree, a bird soaring in the wind, the smell of new blossom, the color of the sky or the smile on the face of someone as they pass by.
Of course we need to plan and to recollect and process experiences, but as we begin to become more mindful we are likely to be surprised at just how much time we spend outside the present moment and how pleasurable and calming being in it can be.
To be mindful is not something mystical – it has been practiced across different cultures for millennia, and forms of it can be found in all the major faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam as well as Buddhism. Mindfulness does not require any form of religious faith or belief – it is available to all.