Mindfulness is a phrase you may have heard several times. But what is it really? Let’s understand mindfulness further. It is the ability to be in the present. It refers to being fully attentive to what is happening in the NOW. Mindfulness is all about being focused on the present moments.
Often, when we get anxious, instead of living in the now, we think about everything that could go wrong in the future. Our anxious brain gets stuck in a possible or impossible future rather than making the most of the moments now. As your brain gets more anxious, it gets you thinking of the worst-case scenarios of the future and obsesses about the past regrets. This leads to losing out on being a part of the present pleasant experiences. Once our mind takes off to obsessive thoughts, it is hard to live the moment and can make you feel overwhelmed.
Mindfulness is a human quality that everyone has the capability of achieving if you put your mind to it. Combining adventure sports, activities and meditation is a great way to achieve the desired level of mindfulness. Here are some things you need to know about it:
- We already have the capability to be in the present, but our mind often wanders off to an undesirable state. It can be achieved with simple practices
- You don’t need to change yourself to achieve mindfulness, anyone can achieve it
- Mindfulness is a way of living and reducing stress
- Regulate emotions and ride the waves of their intensity
How does sailing help with achieving mindfulness?
Riding the wave and setting out on a sail helps you on the path of mindfulness. As you get on to the boat, you are focused on learning to sail. With sailing, all you’ll be thinking about is to cruise the blue waters, hear the seagulls, smell the salt, feel the cool breeze and enjoy the warmth of the sun. There’s a certain adrenalin rush that gushes through your nerves as you enjoy the speed and the waves. All of your senses are alive and focused on the present moment. Here’s how sailing helps achieve mindfulness:
- Helps you concentrate on the NOW
- You are focused on merging of action and awareness
- You’ll lose track of time, also known as a distortion of temporal experience
- Relate to ourselves, regulate our emotions and keep the past at bay
- Widens our window of tolerance
- Extremely rewarding experience
Another interesting fact is that sailing is a great choice of activity for children with autism. It helps enhance their concentration further and increases their capacity to focus on things around them. The blue waters have a certain healing power. Even if your mind chooses to drift away, it will take your thoughts into a direction of peace and pleasure of being in the moment. As you allow your mind to wander at its own course, the ambiance will keep your root in the feeling of present.
Part of mindfulness is also about regulating your emotions and being thoughtful about the drastic fluctuations. With sailing, it helps you balance out your emotions better, teaches you the much relevant grounding skills and widens your window of tolerance.
Staying together while sailing
Sailing is and has always been a great way to spend quality time together with your loved ones. It not only binds people together but also teaches you to be a team to fight the adversities and enjoy the achievements. There are several inspiring stories of sailing and how families have set out an adventure to be together. One such sailing experience was shared by the Nance family.
In January 2015, the Nance family ― Phil, Aimee, their 14-year-old daughter Jessica and their 12-year-old daughter Emma ― set sail together to explore the world. In a span of almost three years, the family has given a new meaning to “spending quality time together” by sailing across a massive ocean, swimming with whales, hiking active volcanoes and more.
Mindfulness of sailing does not just have to be about yourself, it can also be about togetherness as a family. Challenging the trade winds together while learning and teaching how to sail, keeps all of them bound to the moment they are in now. It gives you an opportunity to abandon all your worries and start appreciating the little things in the present. Whether you are interested in sailing or the meditation aspect that it offers, we suggest you start with a weekend sailing retreat. It allows you to set out on a sail with an offshore yacht and practice meditation. There’s no better way to start living with mindfulness and enjoy your weekend. Imagine spending time away from the hum-drum of your daily life to spend time in the surrounding seascape.