What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of practicing how to be aware of our surroundings and not let our minds wander into the past or future. Mindfulness is not only about being aware of present but the quality of that awareness. To say it in simple words, it is getting away from memory of past, worry of the future and staying in the present. Practicing mindfulness has multiple health benefits and if done regularly, it can bring out a positive lifestyle change.
Ways to Practice Mindfulness
- Meditate daily: Meditation helps clear out thoughts. Spending 30 minutes of not thinking can do wonders when it comes to reducing stress and being aware of the surroundings.
- Observe your thoughts and emotions: One of the main reasons why we often get caught up and are not able to practice mindfulness is because our emotions and thoughts are all over the place. Simple tip for this is to constantly observe and face your thoughts rather than letting it built up.
- Connect with your senses: Fast-paced life can seem charming but comes with its own cons. When was the last time you stopped and smelled roses or enjoyed a meal for its taste? Consciously taking time to connect with your senses has its own benefits in the long run.
- Take up one thing at a time: Taking up tasks on tasks at the same time can put you in a frenzy, resulting in poor results. Take up one thing at a time and dedicate to it completely to see better results. Doing this will help you manage your time well too.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Know what is happening around you whether it is personally or professionally as this helps you handle any situation, good or bad in a more effective way.
7 Health Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
Manages Your Temper
Anger-based actions can have a harmful effect on your relationships and communication. Mindfulness allows you to take a step back from an ongoing heated situation and think more clearly before reacting out of anger. It helps a person still experience thoughts, feelings and difficult situations without being intimidated by the same.
Helps Curb Depression
Depression usually occurs when you are unable to let go of past experiences and memories. You are stuck in an infinite struggle of coming out of the past in present scenarios. Mindfulness on the other is a state of initial awareness. By practicing mindfulness consciously on a daily basis, one can leave the past and depression behind and focus on present surroundings and situations.
Reduce Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are often results of overthinking. Your mind wanders into future, holds on to a thought and builds on it, which later becomes stress. Controlling or fixing anxiety only makes it worse. This is where mindfulness plays an important role. Mindfulness helps you to be aware of emotions and thoughts without reacting to them. This is proven to be a beneficial way of handling anxiety.
Increase Focus and Concentration
We often find ourselves distracted, whether it is a new Instagram post, a new game or even gossip about your co-worker. These often account for time wasters and make it difficult for you to manage your work and time effectively, leading to stress, stress and more stress! By practicing mindfulness daily, you are more aware of how much time you are spending on an activity and how important it is or is not. Mindfulness gives you the ability to regulate and manage your attention hence increasing focus and concentration.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Stress is a leading factor when it comes to high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. While certain medicines may keep high blood pressure in check, accurate lifestyle changes too play an important factor. Mindfulness plays a major role in reducing stress and making sure your response to any situation is not disruptive. This further helps lower blood pressure.
Overeating and unhealthy eating habits often involves a kind of mindlessness. Having food is a mundane habit that can easily be overlooked, and we simply end up doing it without putting thought or effort on it. This approach of consuming foods can hinder our best intentions for weight loss. Stress eating, binge eating or eating while distracted all lead to weight gain, but by practicing mindful eating you are aware of what you are putting inside your body and are listening to your body’s needs.
Fall Asleep Faster
Lack of sleep is often a result of an overactive mind. Even if you are physically tired, you might find yourself unable to sleep due to same reasons. Overthinking, stress and anxiety are a few common reasons for an overactive mind. Mindfulness helps combat all three and aids in good quality sleep. Another effective way to make sure you get a good night’s rest is by practicing mindful meditation.