Mindfulness – What Is It And How Can It Help
Mindfulness is described as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is also described as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while only acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. In layman’s terms it is a state of open consciousness where you are aware of things – thoughts, feelings, sensations – but from a distance. You are not judging and are just observing them. You are living in the moment so to speak. In my mind it is a close relative to meditation and they’re usually used together but can be separate. Research has shown that mindfulness has many benefits beyond just relaxing the mind.
The Benefits Of Mindfulness
- mindfulness can reduce stress
- it can lower your blood pressure
- mindfulness can boost your immune system and help you fight against disease
- it’s a good vacation for the mind, it can increase positive emotions while decreasing negative emotions. Mindfulness increases your optimism (more on positivism) which has its own benefits
- research has found that it increases density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory
- mindfulness can help your focus and increase your ability to concentrate
- can increase your compassion for others. research has shown mindfulness increases activity in neural networks involved in understanding the suffering of others and regulating emotions. This would include compassion for your self as well.This also helps in your relationships and how you relate to your partner and coworkers.
- mindfulness can help improve your sleep
How To Practice Mindfulness
You can practice mindfulness while meditating or just sitting quietly in your living room. It is not restricted to meditating or a formal exercise. You can incorporate in your daily life especially when your stress out or distracted by everything going on in your life.
All you need to do is pay close attention to your natural breathing, especially when your under stressful conditions, by paying attention to your breathing you’ll naturally start to slow it down and relax.
Try to step outside yourself and notice all your sensations, the sights, sounds and smells around you and just “go with the flow” so to speak. Notice the thoughts and emotions that come into your mind, but let them go by without judging them. If your mind starts to wander and you get distracted by other things just gently nudge it back to the present.
Like a lot of success habits the benefits of mindfulness are directly related to amount of time you put into it. If you can start with about 15 minutes a day or every other day you will see benefits pretty quickly. You’ll have less stress in your life. Be more calm throughout the day and have a happier disposition. These factors all contribute to success in life mostly because you’re not focusing on the negative all the time. When you focus more on the positive you can get the ball rolling more in that direction.
Resources For You:
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
- Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life
- Greater Good: The Science Of A Meaningful Life
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