Trying to understand What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness. Such a straightforward word, but to put it into practice, many people struggle to do so. It is defined as the ability to be fully present, aware of our surroundings, and of what is happening around us, but also not reacting to anything that is going on in that moment.
You can practice mindfulness every day, by just being conscious of everything around you. But you can strengthen this ability to be in the moment by various forms of mindfulness meditation, which can be practised walking or in a seated or standing posture.
The benefits of being mindful include reducing stress, increasing performance and productivity, and gaining awareness of our own and other’s wellbeing. Many of these benefits are similar or shared with the benefits of a regular meditation practice. There are so many studies that back up these benefits with lots of evidence and facts.
The Various Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
1. Reduced Stress Levels
Practising mindfulness regularly can mean that you can gain tools to cope with the stress and anxiety of everyday life, and therefore have less negative responses to it. It also leads to a better mood and emotion regulation.
2. Ability to Manage Illness Better
It may not take away your symptoms, but daily mindfulness can help you to make them more bearable and manageable. It is especially beneficial for cancer patients and other terminal illness sufferers, showing enhanced spirituality, helping post-traumatic growth, and reduced stress levels.
It can also help you to recover from long-term illnesses. This is increasingly evident in chronic or severe illness survivors.
3. Can Improve Your Overall Health
Similar to a regular meditation practice, daily mindfulness can help you to improve your overall health through healthier changes in your life such as exercise, a healthier diet, and even going to the doctor more often when needed.
It’s also been shown to improve cardiovascular health, as well as reduce blood pressure. It can even help with your mental health, decreasing the occurrence of panic attacks and depressive episodes.
4. Improves Brain Function
There have been studies on college students who practised mindfulness regularly. These individuals showed increased improvements in their grades when they did the practice every day. It also improves concentration levels and helped them managed their time more effectively.
There are so many other benefits for both our mental and physical health when you practice mindfulness regularly. Many companies have started to offer mindfulness classes for their employees, in order to increase work morale and productivity, as well as decreasing workplace stress.
Here, however, we will detail a simple method of starting a mindfulness practice for yourself today. It’s super simple and will give you so many benefits if you practice it regularly.
A Simple Mindfulness Exercise
Practising mindfulness daily is simple, you don’t need any special equipment or any skills in order to practice it. All you need to do is follow the following steps.
1. Make sure to sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes and start to focus on your breath.
3. Observe the present moment.
4. Let any negative thoughts pass by.
5. When you notice a negative thought, acknowledge that it is a negative one, and let it pass.
6. Make sure to return to either the present moment or your breathing if you get distracted.
7. Don’t be harsh on yourself if your mind does wander, this practice takes time.
Practice this daily, and you’ll see that your mind will wander less and you’ll become more appreciative of the present moment. Adding in meditation, yoga and regular exercise will also help to enhance the benefits of mindfulness and aid you in becoming a healthier version of yourself.
We hope this has helped you understand what is mindfulness and how it can transform your life.