Written by: Harley Stenzel
Practicing mindfulness has vast benefits to many areas of life. Mindfulness is being present in the moment and aware of what is going on around you. This includes what you are experiencing in the physical world such as what you are smelling, tasting, hearing, seeing and touching. You should notice aspects about your environment that you normally wouldn’t: What color is the sky today? What do the smells remind you of? What’s unusual? Etc. Being mindful mentally involves letting thoughts and emotions enter and leaver your mind. Acknowledge your stressors, your negative emotions, the worries you have and allow them to pass through without giving them too much attention. Having negative emotions is a normal and inevitable part of life, however, they do not require you to stress over them. Acknowledge them and let them pass.
8 key benefits to mindfulness according to the American Psychological Association:
- Stress reduction
- Boosts memory
- Promotes empathy
- Increases focus
- Less emotional reactivity
- Promotes relationship satisfaction
- Enhances self-compassion
- Improves quality of life
Mindfulness has a plethora of benefits that will assist you in almost all aspects of your life. Practicing mindfulness on a daily or weekly basis is an easy and accessible way to make some positive changes in your life.
3 things to know about mindfulness for Mindful.org:
- Mindfulness in not unusual: many people practice mindfulness in their lives without realizing it. Practicing mindfulness is doing what is already familiar in a structures and regular basis.
- Mindfulness does not require you to change: you already possess the ability to be mindful. Mindfulness does not ask you to change your personality or even the behaviors you do daily. You can be mindful during almost any activity. Practice mindfully eating, mindfully driving to work, and mindfully enjoying time with your loved ones.
- Mindfulness is evidence-based: the benefits of mindfulness are heavily researched and have been shown through various experiments to produce significant effects on our health, happiness, and relationships.
Challenge yourself to be mindful for 10 minutes every day. As previously mentioned, you can incorporate mindfulness into almost any activity that you already do. Take a step back and become aware of what is going on around you. You can even be mindful sitting on the couch: notice how your body feels, what’s comfortable? What is tense? How does the temperature of the room feel? Can you see a window? Notice what is going on outside. Notice what you can hear. Take 10 minutes and exist within your environment. Let your thoughts and feelings come and go in waves, negative feelings arrive, reach a peak, and slowly fade. Allow yourself to simply exist.
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