Mindfulness. SUCH a buzzword lately, but do you know what it actually is? Mindfulness is traditionally a therapeutic technique designed to teach you to be only in the present moment, while also acknowledging the feelings, thoughts, and experiences associated with the present moment. Mindfulness is designed to take your focus off yesterday and tomorrow and pay close attention to today.
The benefits of mindfulness come when you can practice it often and fully, and really stop, slow down, and pay attention. In the spirit of mindfulness, there is no better time than the moment you are in. Being able to surrender and surround yourself in the current moment is the truest form of being present.
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Practicing mindfulness will help you:
- Reduce anxiety
- Increase Gratitude
- Notice the Beauty in life
- Have more meaningful relationships
- Stop living in the past
Tips for Starting to Practice Mindfulness
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, and you can learn them from a certified coach or therapist. Outside of this type of professional help (because, let’s be honest, therapy isn’t for everyone), there are plenty of ways that you can be more mindful every day. Try these tips:
Start each day purposefully –
Get out of bed every day with an intention to be focused on what this day is bringing. Think about your plans and resolve to show up purposefully wherever you go and with whomever you meet.
Keep a body awareness journal –
Journals are a very helpful way to cultivate mindfulness. Being aware of our bodies as they relate to our mood and our functionality is a key way to stay in the moment and know yourself well. People who keep a journal tracking their mood, body aches and pains, and any significant issues can see patterns that over time can help them manage their health better.
Keep your eyes open –
Simply taking the step to actively pay attention wherever you go can increase your mindfulness. What do you see, hear, smell, or touch that you may not have previously noticed? The act of being aware instead of on autopilot will have you seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling things you may have never noticed and can increase your happiness.
Mindfulness is an amazing practice because it reduces the longing for yesterday and the worry of tomorrow. Some may even say that the longing for yesterday is depression, and the worry about tomorrow is anxiety. That makes some sense to me. In this way, Mindfulness can be very beneficial to our mental health.
Mindfulness opens minds and hearts by seeing what is right now and putting the focus and energy on managing the moment rather than managing the perceptions of yesterday and tomorrow. This can reduce stress, and increase overall happiness.
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Try this: Practice mindfulness for one week; notice the impact it makes on you and the impact you make on others with your new focused attention on the present moment.
I think you’ll find that you are calmer, happier, and that your family and friends will enjoy having your attention.