Mindfulness can be very effective in reducing stress, anxiety and improving focus, happiness and overall well-being. This is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness in a group setting and meet like-minded people.
Have you ever noticed when you are doing quite familiar and repetitive tasks, like driving your car, washing dishes, or even eating, your mind is often miles away thinking about something else? For example, you may be contemplating your next holiday, worrying about your family, stressing about your work, etc. This is called being on “automatic pilot” mode. This is also often the way we live our lives: doing or thinking without being fully conscious of our thoughts or actions, leading to poor decision-making and overall unhappiness.
You are not your thoughts!
In mindfulness, we are noticing what’s going on right now. We observe our thoughts without fully identifying with them, and notice their changing nature. They simply appear, stay for some time and disappear (often replaced by another one). Therefore, mindfulness is an emotionally non-reactive state. By realising that we are not our thoughts, we start making conscious choices rather than reacting based on our past experiences (“auto-pilot mode”). Finally, the idea is not to control or suppress the thoughts, but rather to be present with them in a non-judgemental way.