In the last few years, you’ve probably heard buzz words like manifest, mindfulness and meditation. But today, we’re going to take a look at one of these words and examine what it really means and how you can benefit. By the title, I’m sure you know what we’ll be covering: mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
So to cut to the chase, mindfulness is the active process of focusing your attention on the present moment, observing your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, accepting them all with calm and impartiality.
In today’s age of overstimulation, there are always all kinds of things vying for your attention: social media, dinner plans, worries, work tasks, school, etc. Your mind can be a flurry with thoughts racing from moment to moment. Being mindful is about quieting that noise and zeroing in on the here and now.
Mindfulness offers a lot of benefits including improved cognitive ability, reduced stress and anxiety, increased sense of well-being among others. And it’s really easy to incorporate mindfulness into your day to day.
How Practice Mindfulness
If you’re new to it, an easy way to start is by focusing on the breath. Take a minute or two and focus all of your attention on breathing and the sensations that come with it. Take notice of the way your belly and chest rise and deflate as you inhale and exhale. Pay attention to the experience of breathing, how the air feels cool as you breathe in and warm as you breathe out. It only takes a short period of time to focus internally and reap some benefits.
If you need some help, there are all kinds of mindfulness meditations available online that will guide you through these exercises. A simple search on YouTube will yield thousands of results. Look for mindfulness meditations to suit your needs.
Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment. Avoid thoughts about the past and the future, and focus on all that there is right now. Pay attention to what you’re doing at the moment. If that’s eating, focus on how the food tastes, smells and feels as you enjoy it. If that’s walking, take in the sights around you and pay attention to the feeling of your body as you move through the space.
Lastly, be kind towards yourself. If your mind wanders, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply refocus and resume your activity. Negative self talk is adverse to mindfulness. Consider adding some positive affirmations into your mindfulness practice to develop a healthier inner monologue.
Whether you’re a mindful maven or new to the practice, taking just a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness will help you to experience more peace and gratitude while fostering positive mental health. Add mindfulness to your self-care routine and prepare to reap the benefits!