When you start to observe how the mind works, you will laugh at the impossibility of clearing your mind of thoughts. It just isn't going to happen! Having thoughts is part of being human. Some researchers say that we have around 50,000 thoughts a day (National Science Foundation) and that around 95 per cent of these thoughts are the same as you had the day before.
I liken 'Mindfulness' similar to any other new activity or skill we wish to master and bring into our life. In other words just as an instrument will not learn itself, needs practise and dedication, so does a change in our thought process. In whatever way we wish to enhance our life and well being, we have to put in the effort.
Most mornings I try to drag myself into a sitting position to practice mindfulness. I do this because if I delay and say to myself, "Later," I'll never do it. My body craves to stay prone, probably forever. But sitting up and following my breath, I can check my internal weather conditions and if I don't check in, they'll unconsciously influence everything I do in the day.
A great paradox has arisen in our modern society - the more we invent faster and smarter ways of getting things done the more we are creating and caging ourselves in a frightening word of information overload, risking psychological exhaustion, burnout and a whole host of other psychological problems.
By practising mindfulness you can expect to feel happier and more alive and take more enjoyment from your day to day activities. You can feel less stressed as you rush about your busy life. Also you will notice how your relationships and performance at work improve. In fact you will start to function better in everything you do...
Going back to university at 50+ was never going to be easy. One day I was talking to my tutor, discussing aspects of my thesis, when a hot flush struck. Blood sped to my face, increasing pressure alarmingly like a kettle on the boil. My face bubbled with sweat. The discussion stopped abruptly and my mind went blank.