Mindfulness Practice Benefits Mind, Body, and Soul
The concept of mindfulness has been getting a lot of attention recently. The data is in and more and more people are turning to mindfulness practices as a way to de-stress, reduce pain, temper emotions, and to generally be more accepting of what’s happening in their lives.
Mindfulness teaches us to recognize moments in our lives that are invitations to pause and breathe; to respond instead of react; to sit and be present with whatever is causing us stress or discomfort without criticism. It is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your stress-reduction toolbox. But what is mindfulness exactly and why should you develop a mindfulness practice?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that involves bringing your attention to the present moment – focusing on what is happening in the here and now – and doing so without judgment or reactivity. The idea is to come to a place of greater acceptance of what’s unfolding in your life rather than pushing away or fixating on the unpleasant stuff. Sounds like a tall order, but the dividends are impressive when you consider the alternatives. Mindfulness techniques can be practiced anytime and anywhere. There are a variety of approaches and exercises as well so you can experiment and practice the ones that most appeal to you.
How Can I Practice Mindfulness?
Focus on your breath: breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay. Simply bring your attention back to the breath.
Do a body scan: You can either sit or lay down. Gently focus on each part of your body from head to toe. See if you can be aware of the feelings and sensations in your body without interpreting what you’re experiencing. Allow whatever emotions you’re experiencing to be there, without judgment. Simply notice them and let them go.
Do one thing at a time: We all have a tendency to multitask in an effort to get as many things done as quickly as possible. We think we’re being efficient, but multitasking can induce stress. Instead, try focusing on one task at a time, bringing your full attention to each activity.
How Mindfulness Benefits the Mind
We all get preoccupied from time to time. When we’re under a lot of stress, sometimes we can get stuck thinking about what isn’t going well in our lives. Mindfulness techniques help us to bypass the worry trap and free us from that feedback loop of obsessing over what isn’t working.
Through mindfulness meditation we learn to be ok with feeling uncomfortable, we learn to be ok with not knowing the answers and accept things as they are right now in this moment. This perspective can have positive effects on our mood, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can help us be more productive in our lives.
How Mindfulness Benefits the Body
As a relaxing meditation practice, mindfulness reduces symptoms of stress. It has also been shown to relieve pain, lower blood pressure, and help improve sleep.
How Mindfulness Benefits the Soul
Practicing mindfulness is a way to connect with your higher self; the part of you that is still, loving, and accepting of yourself and others. You will find that it helps you to cultivate compassion not only for yourself, but also for the people you love, and anyone you come into contact with. And compassion is a gateway for self-acceptance and self-love.
Make a Mindfulness Commitment Today
Commit to a consistent mindfulness practice in order to reap the full benefits.
It’s not about perfection; rather it has to do with developing discipline. Your attitude is everything. Mindset shifts do not happen overnight. The careful attention and dedication you bring to this practice will pay off in spades.
Remember, you are creating healthy new lifestyle habits, and your mindfulness practice cannot be sustained on sheer will power alone. Your willingness, intention, consistency, and dedication are key ingredients for a sustainable mindfulness practice.
Are you ready to start your journey to create the life you desire?
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