The Importance of Mindfulness and Its Benefits
Mindfulness - a practice focused on the idea that the mind is fully attentive to what is happening and what you are going through. At times, especially when life is busy, this may seem difficult to achieve. You may find that your mind is always racing and your plate is full with tasks. You probably can't seem to find the time to sit down and focus on the present.
One of the biggest ways to overcome this is to refocus and prioritize mindful practices. Before you begin, it is important to understand what mindfulness is and how to practice it. We're giving you all the deets below.
What is mindfulness?
By definition, mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present in the moment. In this state, you are fully aware of where you are, what you are doing and what is happening in each moment. You are not overwhelmed or distracted by what’s going on around you, your past and/or your future. You are solely focused on the exact moment in time, doing your best to enjoy it.
What are the benefits?
Mindfulness is an extremely powerful practice, which helps to promote psychological, physical and cognitive benefits. Some of the incredible benefits include:
- Increased happiness and satisfaction
- Improved immune function
- Increased memory, attention and creativity
- Decreased stress, anxiety and depression levels
- Reduced mind wandering and anxious thoughts
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased work satisfaction and productivity levels
As you can see, mindfulness is a great tool to heal your mind, body and soul.
How to practice mindfulness?
While there is no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness, meditation is the most popular way to do so. To achieve mindful meditation, follow this beginner’s practice guide below.
- Take a seat: Find a comfortable spot in your house, whether that be in bed, on the couch or on the floor.
- Adjust your posture: Sit up straight, and allow your spine to be as straight as possible. Relax, and let your shoulders rest comfortable.
- Fix your gaze: Drop your chip to an upright, yet comfortable position and allow for a natural gaze ahead.
- Now focus! Once you get yourself comfortable, start breathing. Follow the 5-second breathing technique (5 counts in, 5 counts out). Let your mind wander for a few minutes, allowing you to get the breathing down. From there, focus on each breath. Try your best to not let your mind wander.
- Practice makes perfect: Each day, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes (or however long you prefer) to practice this meditation. It may be difficult at first, but after some practice, and a lot of focus, you will get it down. This will become a part of your daily routine you won't want to skip!
By practicing mindful meditation, you grant yourself the power to respond to your environment and surroundings. It truly is a powerful source.
Additional daily rituals that help promote mindfulness
Aside from meditation, there are certainly other ways to practice mindfulness. Try adding one of these rituals below to your daily routine to help incorporate a more mindful and positive outlook.
- Morning gratitude: There is no better way to start off the day than acknowledging all that you are grateful for. Take a few moments to write down three things you are grateful for and why. This simple activity will help shift your perspective as you get ready for the day.
- Daily intention: Before you start the day, set an intention. Is your intention to actively listen today? Finish a project at work? Visit your parents for dinner? No matter how big or small your intention is, it will really make a difference in how you think and feel.
- Make your bed: Seriously! This is one of the simplest tasks that can make a huge difference. If you start your day doing something productive, like making your bed, you are setting the tone for the rest of the day - AKA it’s going to be a good one.
- Move your body: Whether you go for a brisk walk, attend a yoga class or a long run, you can certainly practice being mindful while exercising. Focus on each movement and how you feel before, during and after your workout.
- Let your creativity soar: Get up and do something creative. Give yourself the opportunity to have fun with this - write a journal entry, color or paint a picture, crochet, write a song. This can be anything that makes your soul happy!
All in all, mindfulness is a practice that helps to improve overall mental and physical health. By incorporating mindful practices in your daily routine, you will start to see a shift in perspective and how you feel. Give it a try, we promise you won’t regret it!
Looking for more? Check out our latest article where we share 5 mindful techniques you can do anywhere, any time!