Wouldn’t it be nice to fully experience every moment instead of just living on autopilot? To observe little details and not worry that you’re missing out? Even feel more joy? Those are just some of the benefits of mindfulness.
There’s a way you can live each day more fully—without distractions and judgment.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment. It might sound like a simple concept, however the results are anything but.
Turn off that inner voice
Your inner voice takes you away from what you’re doing and puts your focus elsewhere. Maybe you’ve even noticed yourself getting distracted as you read this article. It’s the culprit of so many distractions in your daily life and is a real challenge to turn off. But once you take time to learn some tricks to retrain your focus, you can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness in your everyday living.
You can bring more awareness and focus to your life by consciously being more mindful—at work, at home and even while you exercise.
How mindfulness helps you
Mindfulness can improve your overall well-being, along with your physical and mental health. By learning to incorporate mindfulness into your day, you’ll start to recognize little things that contribute to a fuller, more satisfied life.
By focusing on the here and now, you’ll be less likely to worry about the future or regrets from the past. Your focus won’t be consumed with potential success or self-esteem, but instead on your abilities to form deep connections with those in your life.
How to practice mindfulness
Many therapists are currently using various forms of mindfulness and meditation to treat issues such as depression, self-confidence problems, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and more.
Mindfulness has also been shown to improve physical health. Routine mindful exercises or meditation can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure and improve sleep.
How to get started
Here are a few ways you can start bringing the benefits of mindfulness into your daily lifestyle:
- Enjoy the silence. Take a moment to clear your mind and check in with your body. This can help you feel more in control of your thoughts and feelings. Spending time in silence and solitude can be so powerful, research has suggested it can actually improve memory function and boost creativity.
- Mindful meditation. A step further, meditation can help you quiet your brain chatter and become more purposeful with your thoughts. One of the most popular forms of meditation is called mindful meditation, and it helps you to be just that—more mindful. Simply find a quiet spot, then center your mind on your breathing and the natural rhythm it creates. If your mind starts to wander, just accept it and bring your concentration back to your breath. Try this for two to three minutes, slowly working up to a 15-20-minute session.
- Download an app. There are several wellness and meditation apps available that can help guide you through active mindfulness sessions. Apps like Calm, Headspace and Let’s Meditate have full and mini-sessions available that introduce you to the basics of mindfulness and how to get started.
- Bring mindfulness to your exercise. When you move your body mindfully, you’re giving full attention to your workout. Since many routines involve repetitive movement, your workout can be a great environment for mindfulness. Instead of thinking about the length of your workout or any discomfort you feel, focus on the benefits of exercising—the energy it gives you or the stress relief it provides. It allows you the time and freedom to focus inward, de-clutter your mind and reflect.
- Be mindful at work. By bringing mindfulness into your workday, you’ll feel more productive, in control and efficient. Take some time at your desk, in the break room or in a hallway to take a few deep breaths to center yourself, when needed. Also, be honest with your time and stop trying to multi-task. When you multi-task, you’re actually causing yourself stress and anxiety. Instead, focus on one task at a time. When you finish, take a second to enjoy your accomplishment before moving to the next item on your to-do list.
So what are you waiting for? Bringing mindfulness to your daily routines may help you start living each day to its fullest—plus have the added benefits of a happier, healthier life.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.