There’s good reason everyone’s talking about mindfulness. A regular practice can help us find clarity and get us in touch with our gut instinct. This is what helps us be clear and confident with our decision making.
We spoke with Jai Caulfield-Caruso about mindfulness and trust. She’s a Learning and Development Peer Consultant for Mind Australia.
- Mindfulness explained
- The importance of mindfulness
- How to be more mindful
- Being present
- The long-term benefits of mindfulness
- Mindfulness and relationships
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is acceptance of what already is. We’re able to see what’s in front of us, things that we wouldn’t normally notice, as it arises, non-judgementally with kindness. This means tuning out of other things, like what was or what could be.
When we do this, we’re able to find more peace and calm in ourselves. For me, it’s like I’ve put my glasses on and the blurriness is gone.
Why is mindfulness important?
Mindfulness allows us to find enjoyment in what is already happening. It helps us get in touch with what’s real, rather than what we imagined could be happening. It reveals the truth, and that’s very comforting. It takes away a lot of our worries.
How can we be more mindful?
I think we’re creatures of habit and if we start to introduce little things to our day we can benefit. if we start coming up with massive things to do, it can feel like hard work. I keep things simple. Introduce small things that don’t feel like hard work to practice.
- Begin your day by tuning into what you’re grateful for in this moment.
- Practice paying attention to what’s happening in your body – what you can see, taste, hear, smell and touch.
- Take a conscious big, beautiful, deep breath. Your breath is portable, it goes with you wherever you are and you always have time to stop to take a big breath. Use it as a circuit breaker to consciously breathe out stress that you’re holding and bring your attention to what’s in front of you.
- Go for a five-minute mindful walk, and literally stop to smell the roses. Or pause and try to spot five blue things. Find a cue to come into the present.
- If you take your dog for a walk, practice being really present with them. You’ll get a lot of joy from it.
- Put little mindfulness quotes around you, perhaps on your screensaver.
- Be mindful during everyday tasks, like doing the dishes or having a shower. You can think of the water washing all your stresses away.
- Use physical objects, like little crystals or candles. Some people like to set an intention and holding the crystal reminds them of that intention, or lighting the candle, supports them to return to the present moment.
Tell us more about being present
Presence can also be brought into movement. For some people that are starting out with a mindful practice, it can be really helpful to sit and focus all their attention on something they are doing, like doing the dishes. We can bring our attention into each part of the body, just where we are, without needing to think about a destination or what’s coming next.
For others, they may feel more comfortable with movement. You can even Google mindful walking and see what comes up.
I think the key to being present is not forward thinking to the destination. Instead, it’s being with what you’re doing in the moment. If you’re listening to someone speak you can give them all of your attention as you’re not thinking of the next thing to do or say.
What are the long-term benefits of being mindful?
There have been a lot of studies done on the brain and after just six weeks of doing a daily mindfulness practice, there’s amazing changes to the neuro pathways in the brain. It actually creates new circuitry which helps us to deal with stress in healthier ways and creates new pathways.
So, that next time we’re in a tricky situation, we have a choice. We don’t have to be reactive and go down that same old path that causes us stress and suffering. We can stop and consciously choose a better path. We override our subconscious and the path most travelled.
This means more choices for our future. We spend more time in the driver’s seat and less time on autopilot. We’re present for more of our own lives and those we care about the most.
Will mindfulness change who I am?
Being mindful doesn’t make us new, it just reveals who we truly are. It strips away all the things that we attach to ourselves that aren’t helpful, and often aren’t true. A lot of joy comes from that space, and peace.
Can mindfulness help me create stronger and more trusting relationships?
Yes. It helps us stress less, grow self-love and gratitude, and be less judgmental. If we can do that for ourselves, we can remove expectations and judgement of others, and truly appreciate and accept them for where they’re at today. Looking for the good and removing your expectations of others, supports you to accept people as they are, and relationships improve.
It takes patience, as patience is the foundation for most things that are worthy to behold. From the ability to trust ourselves and others, we’re able to make the best choices in the moment.
How can I mindfully build trust with my employment consultant?
You need to identify the purpose of your relationship and be honest in your conversations together. Think about:
- How can this person help you and what do you want to receive from them?
- What’s your role in this and what do you want to give?
- How can you work together for a positive outcome?
- What’s something you’re grateful for in being supported by this person?
Where can I go for support?
Start by talking to the people in your trusted support network. Chat to them about your intentions to be more mindful. This may open up opportunities you didn’t know about like a local course, group, or reading materials. There are many courses you can also sign up to, online or in your community.
Mindfulness may bring you new connections, and it will certainly help you grow deeper connections with the people already in your life.
If you’re looking for an employment services provider that takes the time to be present with you and help you get clear on your goals, we’re here for you. Call us on 1800 226 228 or register online.