That was the question my husband asked me on our way home, after watching the latest Mission Impossible film at the cinema.
It wasn't what I had expected him to say, but it certainly made me think.
In my own life I see the benefit of mindfulness, as it helps me keep calm and focus on one thing - that is such a joy. In this modern world we spend so much time looking at screens and are proud of our ability to multi-task. There have been plenty of examples recently of sportsmen using yoga and meditation to help them become more mindful and focus on the physical task ahead of them, one example being the England men's football team who were practicing yoga during the 2018 World Cup.
Mindfulness is the state of an awareness of the present moment.
Most of us spend our lives juggling and organising our days - anticipating what could happen and worrying about what others are doing. We often have busy timetables and race from appointment to appointment. This can be so stressful.
When we stop and focus on what is happening in front of us, our mind calms. Mindfulness can be achieved though yoga and medication but also there are plenty of other activities. For example when I crochet it calms my mind - it means I can't use my phone or tablet (of course it doesn't stop me from chatting it my local Knit & Sip group - it is such a joy to chat with people you have busy hands and so cannot be distracted by their mobile phones.
Just going for a walk, or sitting and observing a view, can help with mindfulness. When was the last time you sat outside and watched the birds and butterflies?
I always finish my yoga classes with Savasana - we focus on our breath (and sometimes follow a visual meditation) helping us be more mindful.
There is a history of ancient warriors (such as the Samurai) using mindfulness to help them focus on achieving the task ahead. Once the course of action has been decided the warrior must focus and not let fear or worry clutter his mind. To much thinking can lead to doubt and paralysis.
In addition, mindfulness can help those who have seen conflict, deal with it and find inner peace. Mental Health professionals are starting to accept that mindfulness can help people struggling with depression and anxiety. TheN.H.S. states that "Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing."
So to answer the question I would say, yes he does.
Can you imagine being about to jump down the side of a building (as Ethan often does) and other thoughts crowd in? It's essential to be able to focus on what you are doing to be a Ethan Hunt (or a James Bond).
This applies to all of us. It is tiring to live with a constantly busy mind and how happy can we ever be if we are always thinking about other things? Just stop, enjoy the moment and focus on what you need to do. I have a huge to do list but the best way to deal with it is to stop thinking about it and just pick one thing and focus on it - I am definitely a clear desk" person.
Author: Sally Pearce (sallyjaneyoga)