MINDFULNESS AND STRESS MANAGEMENT
Quickly preparing a presentation in the office while making a phone call or discussing matters with colleagues, eating lunch at your desk while trying not to make any mistakes… sounds familiar?
If yes, you are probably lacking in mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness? The notion of mindfulness can be attributed to Buddhism and describes an attentive way of living by means of those things that remain in the mind. The Buddhist practice of mindfulness is described in detail in the discourse of Satipatthana Sutta and rests upon four pillars.
Living in the here and now
The idea of mindfulness has since the 1960s been gaining ground in western medicine and psychology. Yet Sigmund Freud, using the term “uncritical introspection”, was also familiar with aspects of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a form of attention whose aim is to consciously perceive the present moment and to accept it without judgment or expectations.
The “arch-enemy” of mindfulness is multitasking – nowadays widespread in all areas of life – where we attempt to accomplish several tasks simultaneously, while already busy with the next task in our thoughts. It is humorously often said that only women are able to multitask. In reality, however, nobody can, because multitasking is far more exhausting that focusing on one task, while it increases the potential for error.
The difference between mindfulness and concentration
While concentration aims to focus on one aspect and dedicate all of our perception to this one thing, mindfulness means registering the whole picture. Concentration makes it possible to withdraw from the world for a certain time. Mindfulness however promotes open-mindedness as regards the internal and external worlds.
Mindfulness at the Posthotel Achenkirch
The Posthotel Achenkirch offers the perfect environment to practise mindfulness on both the small and large scale, and we have arranged three mindfulness exercises for you:
Exercise 1: mindful walking meditation
Have you ever noticed that most people only walk to get from A to B? In order to achieve an objective as quickly as possible? Mindful walking meditation releases us from this “compulsion” – it is simply a matter of walking and breathing, noticing the moment without judging and calming the mind. Walking meditation can theoretically be practised everywhere – but it becomes a special experience in the natural surroundings of the Posthotel: you can enjoy the fresh mountain air in your lungs, the sun on your skin, lush grass under your feet and the glittering Achensee before your eyes…
Exercise 2: mindful seated meditation
Seated meditation is an important part of mindfulness. Here the aim is to sit for some time quietly and simply to observe: How does our own breathing rhythm perform? Where do our thoughts travel? What feelings occur at the physical, mental or spiritual level? It is very important not to try and guide or judge our thoughts or feelings, but simply to notice and accept them. As part of our mindfulness and vitality retreat with Stefan Spiecker, we offer you a guided meditation programme for you to try out and learn this mindfulness exercise.
Making mindfulness part of everyday life means accomplishing quite ordinary activities is a fully conscious way. One particularly appealing exercise that you can try out at the Posthotel is mindful eating. Deliberately take notice of each moment of pleasure – do you feel the consistency of the food in your mouth, do let you each portion melt on the tongue, do you totally dedicate yourself to the aromas it contains… what could be better suited to this project than the creations from our gourmet kitchen?