What is Mindfulness and How Do You Practice It?
The Mayo Clinic says: Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, mindfulness can help with:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
And, while we’ve all heard about it mindfulness – how do you go about practicing it?
Luckily, there are lots of different ways you can practice mindfulness – and it’s all about finding what works for you. Here are several suggestions if you’re ready to give it a try!
- Pay Attention to Everything: Did you read this and think, “That seems like it could be overwhelming!”? Well, it doesn’t have to be. It’s more about taking note of the things going on in your life – everything from sleep patterns to eating habits to how you’re managing your time – and then adjusting as needed.
- If your calendar is too full and you’re feeling like you have no time for yourself, start saying no to some invitations or activities. Have you been eating more junk food lately? Then clear out the cupboards and restock your kitchen with healthy foods so you can make better choices. Little things like this are certainly ways to practice mindfulness.
- Be In the Moment: Do you spend a lot of time worrying about the future – even if you have no control over it? Or, maybe, you spend time reminiscing about the past – even though it’s come and gone.
- Then it may be time to shift your mindset so that you are focusing on what’s currently going on in your life. Staying in the moment allows you to place your attention on what’s at hand – and that’s good for you and those in your life – as it will help you to feel more connected.
- Accept Yourself as You Are: Accepting yourself as you are can be a tough one for people. While it doesn’t mean you don’t work to improve things in your life, it means that you learn to be happy with who you are and what you have at the current time. Try to refrain from negative self-talk and comparing yourself to others to become more accepting of yourself.
- Focus on Your Breath: One way to bring mindfulness to you at a moment’s notice is to focus on your breath. When you focus on your breathing, you can clear your brain of negative thoughts and truly be in the moment.
- Get Outdoors: Do you enjoy the outdoors? Hiking? Walking? Riding your bike? Do you find you do your best thinking when you’re outside? Then you’re probably using your time outdoors to practice mindfulness – and you don’t even know it. Spending time in the outdoors and enjoying nature is a great way to be mindful of all that’s out there.
- Practice Meditation: Meditation is another excellent way to practice mindfulness. There are all sorts of apps and YouTube videos that can walk you through meditation exercises if this is something you wish to try.
- Do One Task at a Time: No more multitasking. Instead, focus on one task at a time. Give all of your attention and effort to the task at hand, and you will find that you complete it easier, faster, and with better results.
- Embrace Your Feelings: Do you have a tendency to repress your feelings instead of embracing them? To be mindful, you need to “feel your feelings.” When you do this, you can enjoy the good times and work through the challenging times.
There are many reasons to practice mindfulness – and many ways to practice it. Find a way that works for you and see how your life improves. You might be pleasantly surprised by the changes you see.