Everyone lives in a fast-paced world. Often, you spend your entire day doing daily tasks in your career and personal life. You fold the laundry and take care of the kids while you’re waiting for your roasted beef to finish cooking.
You try to keep things in the plan, ensuring that your family is well cared for while making advancements in your career. And amid all these, you forget to take care of yourself. You start losing connection with the things around you. Did you ever notice that the flowers in your garden are blooming? Or that your new neighbor is an old lady who seems lonely? If not, maybe it’s time to start practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally focusing and living at the moment, accepting each circumstance as it is. Even experts agree that mindfulness is fundamental in reducing stress and increasing overall happiness.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness originated from Buddhism. However, many religions involve meditation techniques or prayer that refocus the mind from the usual things that occupy it to something else. Perhaps a bigger life perspective or appreciation of the moment.
The founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic, Professor emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn, helped promote mindfulness meditation into orthodox medicine. He also illustrated that exercising mindfulness can significantly improve psychological and physical health, resulting in positive behavior, health, and attitude.
Practicing mindfulness and integrating it into your daily life can help you have positive attitudes that play a part in accomplishing a good life. Being mindful makes it easy for an individual to appreciate the good things in life. This helps them engage in numerous activities to handle adverse life events.
By staying focused on what’s happening in the present, you prevent yourself from worrying about what could happen in the future. It also prevents you from regretting the things that happened in the past. You will be less concerned about the things that can affect your self-esteem, allowing you to build stronger connections with people.
Improved Physical Health
Improved well-being isn’t the only benefit of mindfulness. Scientists have concluded that this technique can significantly improve your physical health in several ways. In general, here are ways mindfulness can improve your physical health:
- Reduce stress
- Prevent heart disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve sleep
- Reduce chronic pain
- Lessen gastrointestinal issues
Improved Mental Health
Many psychotherapists have believed that mindfulness meditation is vital in treating various mental health problems. These conditions include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, OCD, and many more.
How to Practice Mindfulness
The good news is that there are many ways to practice mindfulness. You can choose to practice it on your own or with the help of an online life coach. Whatever you choose, the primary goal is to achieve a particular state of alertness and achieve optimum health.
Here’s a simple guide in practicing mindfulness:
- Sit straight on a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.
- Stay focused on your breathing. Make sure to feel the air in your nostrils and exhale through your mouth. Also, focus on how your belly rises and falls as you breathe.
- After thorough concentration, it’s time to broaden your focus. Concentrate on the sounds around you and your thoughts.
- Embrace your thoughts without judging them. Whether they are good or bad, you need to accept them as they are. At this point, your mind might start racing. However, you can continually refocus your breathing and broaden your focus once again.
The Practice of Staying in the Present
Staying in the present is a less formal perspective of mindfulness. It allows you to appreciate what’s going on around you and participate in your present life. You can practice staying in the present in any activity you do. In other terms, you can remain mindful while walking, eating, driving, exercising, or doing nothing at all.
Here are ways you can do it:
- Focus on the various sensations in your body.
- Inhale through your nose, letting the air go down in your belly to expand your abdomen fully.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Do these steps continuously with complete deliberation.
- At this point, you can start engaging your senses. Integrate your sense of touch, sight, hearing so that you can enjoy all sensations.
- When your mind starts wandering, refocus on the sensations at the moment.
Experts believe that the more you practice mindfulness, the more positive effects you reap. Many individuals conclude that the mind needs at least 20 minutes to settle, which is indeed an excellent way to start.
As a beginner, you can practice mindfulness in short periods. But if you want to commit yourself more, meditating for 45 minutes a day is the way to go.