Mindfulness: Calm a busy mind
By Heather Lynn - Head of Youth Programs at the Y NSW
With all the stress and uncertainty that has arisen for many of us in the days of COVID-19, there’s a good chance your mind is a little busier than usual. Mindfulness is an incredible practice to help bring us back into a state of more calm and presence. Mindfulness is best defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. Mindfulness is a training exercise for the mind, much like going to the gym – the more we train, the easier it gets.
Wondering just how much of your day is spent in a mindful state? Feel free to complete this short questionnaire researchers developed, the Mindful Attention Awareness Score (MAAS) - the higher the score, the greater your ability to be mindful. If you scored lower than you would have liked, don’t worry, it’s just a good indicator that you may really benefit from a mindfulness practice, and the below mindfulness meditation is a great place to start.
The more awareness we can bring to the present moment, the more we can free our mind from unnecessary cyclical rumination and reactive thoughts. The skill of mindfulness is especially helpful in challenging times and situations and mindfulness can be practiced anywhere at anytime to bring grounding and calm. This 5 minute mindfulness meditation is suitable for beginners and is best practiced in a quiet seated position, with an open mind. Please know that thoughts will likely come and go and that is perfectly fine, allow them simply to fade into the background and come back to the present moment. Enjoy!
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