Mindfulness is the practice of fully attending to the present moment without judgment. The options of how to practice mindfulness are almost limitless. Additionally, there are many benefits to a regular mindfulness practice.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, and what is happening in the space around you. However, this is often not easy at the beginning as you find your mind wandering, so you need to gently bring your focus back to what you are observing with your senses.
Mindfulness is an ability that every human being has, but you need to learn how to access it. It can involve focusing on sensations to root yourself in your body in the here and now. It is also looking at the world through a lens of simply accepting what is in your world without judgment.
Mindfulness practice is a way to gently retrain the mind to settle into the present moment. By practising mindfulness over and over with patience and compassion for yourself, you can teach the mind to be still.
How to Do Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be done while:
- Laying down
- Engaging in activities of daily life (washing dishes, eating, cleaning, etc.)
- Engaging in activities of self-care (yoga, fitness, doodling)
The easiest way to practice mindfulness is to focus on the breath, resting your attention on the inhalation and exhalation repeatedly.
- Begin with becoming aware of the sensation of your breath. Feel the rise and fall of the belly and chest. Feel the breath moving in and out of your lungs.
- When you notice your mind has wandered, simply bring the attention back to the breath without judging yourself or “rating” your performance. You are simply being with and observing the breath.
- You can practice for a set amount of time or moments throughout your day.
Ultimately, you’ll be better able to maintain your practice if it is meaningful and enjoyable for you.
What Does It Help?
When engaging in mindfulness just do the practice. If you focus on the benefits you may nullify them.
When you’re mindful, you can reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing your mind, and increase your attention to others’ well-being. Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.
Benefits of Mindfulness include:
- improving cognitive ability
- slowing brain ageing
- reducing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms
- increasing a sense of well-being
- helping with pain management
- improving quality of life for those living with chronic conditions
- increasing well-being
- reducing perceived stress,
- increasing job satisfaction in the workplace
- reducing anxiety
- reducing depression symptoms
- reducing fatigue
- providing relief from digestive disorders
- improving symptoms of sleep disorders
- improving immune response
There are many benefits and few costs to establishing and maintaining a regular mindfulness practice. Once you retrain your brain, you are able to take mindfulness breaks from all the thinking you do. That is when you will find the real benefits.