What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to live in the present moment. It’s being aware of sensations, thoughts, feelings, and environment. Mindfulness allows you to observe your inner and outer world without judgement.
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” By: psychology Today
Basically, mindfulness allows you to observe your life, helping you accept the current situation without judgment. It is important to note, that mindfulness does not affect traditional, religious and / or cultural beliefs. It simply lets you live in the now.
What is the purpose of mindfulness?
Unfortunately, we live is a fasted paced world. Living under constant stress, figuring out how to pay bills, finding money for medical treatment, transportation, work, food, building a career, trying to balance our personal and social life. Well, the list goes on an on, basically we end up like zombies, reacting to our environment in autopilot mode. Losing compassion, empathy, constantly comparing our life with others and forgetting to act with kindness. Mindfulness allows us to stop momentarily and observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement. It allows us to forgive and connect with the world on a deeper level.
How can mindfulness impact your life?
- Reduces stress & anxiety
- Improves mental health
- Cultivates gratitude
- Promotes compassion
- Helps regulate emotions
- Improves sleep
- Fights chronic pain
- Lowers blood pressure
- Aids in weight loss
- Increases gratitude
How can you become mindful each day?
Well to be quite honest, mastering mindfulness is not an overnight process. It takes time, even if you wanted to there is no way you can change your thinking patterns over night. You need to be patient and practice daily. You can start by expressing gratitude, allowing emotions to pass through without judgement, accept people and events, stop resisting, and let go of expectations. Not only that, but try to forgive yourself, make peace with imperfection and embrace vulnerability.
How to practice mindfulness?
- Mindful activities: Be aware of activities you do during the day.
- Mindful listening: Carefully listen to those speaking to you, give them your full attention.
- Mindful breathing: Pay attention to how your breathing and relax. Practice by exhaling completely though the mouth, then inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and finally the exhale for 8. Repeat this 4 to 6 times.
- Mindful physical sensations: Feel your feet on the ground, touch your hands, feel your clothes on yourself.
- Mindful speaking: Express what truly in your mind. If your notice yourself rambling about nonsense, simply ground yourself again, and then continue speaking.
- Mindful vocabulary: Pay attention to your words, notice any negative vocabulary in there? Such as I’m mad, sad, or frustrated? Try changing it by saying things like, “this sad feelings will pass” or “I acknowledge these feelings of sadness, therefore I let it go and make room for happiness”.
- Mindful eating: Savor your foods, eat calmly, and feel the texture of your food with each bite. Just be aware of yourself while you eat each meal.
- Mindful smiling: Not only will it spread positiveness to others, but it tricks your brain into activating neural messages that make you feel good.
- Mindful non-comparison: Stop comparing yourself to others. If you notice attributes or skills in people that you like such as beauty, tell yourself “She has her own beauty, and I too express beauty in other ways”.
- Mindful busyness: Don’t just sit there any let your mind wander into negativity. Do things you like such as, reading, watching movies, exercising, starting new television series, trying out new recipes, hanging out with great friends, hobbies, well the list goes on and on.
- Mindful influences: Are there any negative people in your life? Are you following any negative or triggering pages on social media? Have friends on social media that are constantly pessimistic? Unfollow or unlike pages or people who don’t help your mood. Eliminate any toxic people or situations from your life.