How To Practice Mindfulness To Improve Your Life
There’s a lot of information out there that tells you to look after your mental health and practice mindfulness. But what is mindfulness and how does it work?
Mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways. What works for one person might not work for another. Some people might be a bit cynical about it, while others embrace it wholeheartedly. One thing’s for sure, everyone should find some way of relieving stress and anxiety in their lives.
What is mindfulness?
In its simplest form, mindfulness is meditation. It can trace its roots back to Buddhist practices. You don’t need to spiritual to make it work. It is designed to get you to let go of any thoughts about the past or future and bring your mind into the present. It has been known to reduce stress, anxiety and promote deep relaxation.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
While meditation and mindfulness have become more popular, as we deal with our stressful lives, it has been practiced for centuries. The benefits of incorporating mindfulness into your self-care regime include:
Improved well-being – by focusing on being in the present, you can enjoy life as it happens and let go of any anxiety over past events. Being present can improve your relationships and family time, developing connections you may otherwise have missed out on.
Better physical health – mindfulness has been shown to improve quality of sleep, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain conditions, and promote cardiovascular health.
Improved mental health – a vital part of your overall health. Mindfulness has been used by people, alongside other therapies when tackling OCD, anxiety, stress, depression, and eating disorders.
How to practice mindfulness
There are a number of books, apps, and another tech out there that can help you to begin your mindfulness practice. Apps such as Headspace or the Apple breathing app are very popular.
You don’t have to have anything to be able to practice mindfulness, but some people find apps, etc help them find their focus and guide their minds. To get the most out of it, you should aim for the following:
Find a quiet place – sit down somewhere with as few distractions as possible.
Devote some time – whether you have five minutes or 50, you can still get a lot out of it.
Become aware of your body – ideally, you’ll be sitting somewhere comfortable and be aware of your body as your release tension.
Clear your mind – your mind will wander, that’s inevitable, the point of the exercise is to realize when your mind has wandered and attempted to clear it again while maintaining your breathing. Some people can clear their mind for only a few seconds at a time, and that’s completely normal. If you’re using an app to help you with guidance or visualizations, you might find this easier to stay on track.
With so many people devoting more time and effort to improving their health and happiness, then mindfulness can play a key role in this effort to achieve mental and physical balance.