I came across mindfulness by chance. I was waiting for a colleague in the bar of the Prince Rupert Hotel in Shrewsbury, when I spotted a magazine. On browsing through the pages, I found an article about how mindfulness is being applied in pain therapy. I found it fascinating. On returning home, I decided to learn more.
It is four years since I read that article, but mindfulness continues to fascinate me, especially since integrating it into my life. One of the most important principles is the most simple to understand, but takes effort to implement. Observe your thoughts and feelings as if they are external to you. Perhaps view them as objects beside you, or something abstract nearby to you. View them with compassion, accept them for what they are, thoughts and feelings, but don't react to them automatically. Be intentional in your response. Don't let them dominate you. Acknowledge their presence, but make sure your reaction to them is in your best interest.
There is a great feeling of accomplishment being able to take control of my feelings and thoughts. The rewards of a free mind are endless, but so is the effort to remain mindful, and not slip back into automatic response.