More and more often, I’ve been using mindfulness in coaching sessions with my clients lately.

Some of them start off thinking meditation is too woo-woo for them, or they’re worried they won’t be able to get it right.

But after a few sessions everyone has seen a noticeable improvement in their mindset and various aspects of their lives. And they’re all firmly convinced that mindfulness is life changing stuff!

So what exactly is mindfulness, and how can it help you?

Broadly speaking, mindfulness is the act of being fully present in your own life, instead of being lost thinking about the past, or the present, or off in your imagination. It’s about living your life fully, letting go of the anxiety you’ve been holding onto, and doing the things you’ve been putting off doing.

There are both formal mindfulness practices (known as meditation), and informal mindfulness practices… and you can do pretty much any action in a mindful and present way.

Mindfulness can reduce your tension, improve your relationships with others – as you’ll probably be calmer and more present with them – and it can help you make better decisions.

And there’s no way you can get it “wrong”. Mindfulness works differently for different people, and as long as you are breathing, you can meditate.

Of course, there are also risks associated with mindfulness, which not every mindfulness teacher will tell you about.

When you start to calm your mind and listen to your thoughts, you can easily become overwhelmed by the chatter in your head. Some people find it strange when they first start to recognise that they are not actually their thoughts – they are the observer of their thoughts – and this can even cause panic attacks.

If you have any fears or doubts about your ability to use mindfulness in your own life, please speak to a trained professional, and always consult your GP if you’re on any medication or treatment associated with mental health.

Mindfulness can be a fantastic and life changing technique, and I believe the benefits are endless.

Do you currently meditate?

If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness or meditation, please feel free to contact me at hazel@hazelhardie.com.