What Is Mindfulness?
What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness means to take nothing for granted. This approach to mindfulness makes it easier to appreciate every aspect of your life. You’re happy with and accept the way your life is and you know that you’re fortunate to have the life you do. This approach to mindfulness can help you notice and enjoy every moment, including the little things.
- Mindfulness is a focus on the here and now, and returning to the present. This is tied to being in the moment. This however, is very challenging, so to make things easier, we accept that it’s actually very hard to free the mind of all thought and emotion. So with this approach to mindfulness, you want to be focused on what you’re doing but allow yourself some wiggle room so long as you make a commitment to return to the present moment. Yes, you’ll get distracted but you can control how and when you regain focus.
- Mindfulness requires the self-regulation of attention and an attitude of openness, curiosity, and acceptance. This is a more all-encompassing definition of mindfulness that can provide you with a broad framework for how you live and think. This definition is very much about our human ability to control our thoughts, emotions, and attention. The better you can do this, the more focused, open, accepting, and mindful you’ll be of your wants and needs and those of others.
Why Mindfulness Is Good For You
- Decreased stress. As you know, the more stressed you are, the bigger the strain on your immune system health. There are entire mindfulness programs and approaches devoted to reducing stress levels. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been proven to be a key factor in eliminating bad stress.
- Improved relaxation. It can be very hard to relax when your brain is jumping from task-to-task. When you’re trying to fall asleep or to just chill out for a few moments, it can be impossible to relax with an overactive brain. Mindfulness allows you to let go of these conflicting thoughts and simple be in the present moment.
- Better ability to deal with illness. The benefits of mindfulness for people suffering with chronic pain and terminal illness is overwhelmingly positive. While mindfulness cannot remove the symptoms or disease, it can make it easier to manage them. The eCALM trial for cancer patients discovered that mindfulness can help alleviate the stressful reactions that occur with symptoms and treatment.
- Improved overall health. When you’re connected and feeling in control, you’re more likely to integrate health positive habits into your life. For example, taking a walk to clear your mind or taking the time to prepare a healthful meal or to give up smoking.
How To Be Mindful
- Walk. Yes, put on your shoes, flip-flops, hiking boots, or go out in your bare feet and walk. Walk alone for as long as you want and where you want. Walking is a great way to let your mind relax, open up, and to be free.
- Be in nature. Take a walk in nature, go for a bike ride, bring a blanket and sit in a park – just get out and be surrounded by green. Nature has been proven to have a calming effect and actually allows us to focus on being simply in nature.
- Reframe your daily tasks. By being aware of the daily tasks in your day, you’re more in-tune and connected with what you’re doing. While driving, let yourself listen to the radio rather than have it be background noise to the soundtrack in your brain.
- Meditate. A lot of people are afraid of meditation. Meditation can be whatever you need it to be. Taking a few deep breathes when you start your day. Sitting out in the back yard with your eyes closed repeating a saying or mantra. Dedicating time every day to sitting with your eyes closed and thinking about nothing. There are lots of great apps and online programs that make it easier to practice meditation.
- Create. Sign up for that pottery class, painting workshop, or photography session. When you’re creating something, your brain becomes completely immersed in what you’re learning and doing. One of our team members swears by pottery as one of the best ways to free her mind and simply focus on the lump of clay for 2.5 hours.
- Do onething. Yes, this means that when you’re reading a book, you’re not thinking about the weekend or when you’re watching a movie you’re not checking your email. When you’re working – you’re working. When you’re relaxing – you’re relaxing. When you’re with friends – you’re talking, listening, and engaging.