MINDFULNESS ON A DAILY BASIS

David Miller
David Miller

Mindfulness has the ability to improve your life no matter where you are in it right now. Individuals frequently turn to mindfulness during tough times, such as during a divorce or breakup, after the death of a loved one, after being diagnosed with a serious illness, or simply when they are going through a particularly stressful period in their lives.

When we seek support from mindfulness, we’re looking for a means to avoid the chaos of life. Many of us are looking for ways to go away from suffering, perplexity, and heartbreak. Fortunately, mindfulness can assist in the healing of all of these types of pain.

Mindfulness, contrary to popular belief, provides a path through rather than around life’s obstacles. Mindfulness forces us to engage our worries and anxieties in a calm, soothing manner, rather than ignoring them. The medication we so sorely need in this day and age is mindfulness, focusing on the present now, and not being afraid of our thoughts and feelings. It is, however, the one that we work so hard to avoid.

We’ll go over all you need to know about mindfulness and how to start your own rewarding mindfulness practise in the guide below. Rest certain that this is one of the numerous advantages. We’re confident that after you get started, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get started.

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of mindfulness. It can be found in books, periodicals, blog articles, and YouTube videos, among other places. Many individuals are still unaware of what mindfulness is.

People frequently associate awareness with meditation, Buddhism, and remaining in the present moment. And yes, this is correct! All of them are excellent places to begin! However, at its core, mindfulness is a really simple idea. It’s something you can accomplish at any time and from any location. To give a broad definition of mindfulness, we can say that it is:

Constantly aware of the feelings, thoughts, emotions, environmental stimuli, and body sensations that come and go over time in order to maintain attention on the present now.

Adopting a mindfulness practise isn’t as difficult as you might think. Many individuals make the mistake of believing that becoming mindful will take hours and hours of dedicated practise. You can, in fact, become one right now — right now! All that is required is for you to make the decision to begin.

MINDLESSNESS VS. MINDFULNESS:

The term “mindless” is frequently used to describe someone who acts irrationally or without consideration. It’s most commonly used in isolated cases where someone does something carelessly. However, according to Ellen Langer1, a Harvard social psychology professor, many people are genuinely mindless the majority of the time. In truth, Langer does not absolve herself of being a thoughtless being. In an interview with The Harvard Gazette, she said, “I once stumbled into a mannequin and apologised.”

So, do you feel mindless in day-to-day life?

Many people would answer no, but when you consider that mindlessness is defined as a state of not focusing on the present moment and instead dwelling on the past or future, it’s simple to understand how many individuals, as Langer implies, are mindless for huge amounts of their day.

Consider how much time you spend thinking about the past or the future. Do you ever find yourself wondering what you’ll do once a boring work meeting is over? Are you thinking about the excellent meal you’ll have later that afternoon or about what you’ll wear on a night out later that evening?

Assume you’re meant to be studying for a major exam. Instead, you’re thinking about the party you went to last week or how well you performed on an exam you just took?

To be sure, we are able to focus on the task at hand for little periods of time during the day, but these times are often short. It’s very likely that you’ve noticed that your mind wanders more than it stays put. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it can have severe consequences over time, and it’s generally worse when we aren’t aware that our minds are wandering.

The goal of mindfulness as a daily practise is to fight the wandering mind.

WHY SHOULD YOU PRACTICE MINDFULNESS?

Mindfulness practised on a regular basis, even for a short period of time, has a number of great benefits. On the surface, it appears to improve your focus, memory, and recall of information, as well as making you a better listener. All of these skills will be extremely useful to you if you are in school or have a demanding work.

Furthermore, mindfulness has been shown to have bodily benefits. Mindfulness has been related to pain relief, particularly in chronic pain syndromes such lower back pain, fibromyalgia, and other musculoskeletal pain.

It also helps with mental and emotional well-being by lowering stress and anxiety. As a result, mental health issues like depression may become less common. Better sleep has also been connected to mindfulness. Finally, research has revealed that mindfulness can help to strengthen and boost the immune system. We’ll go through the advantages of mindfulness in more detail later.

THE BEGINNINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS:

Mindfulness can be practised and benefited by anybody, regardless of their religion, denomination, or if they are an atheist, agnostic, or follow another spiritual doctrine. Simply put, mindfulness is a state of mind.

Still, we can go back more than 2,600 years to when the Buddha became enlightened and first imparted the lesson of being aware, to understand how mindfulness arrived to the Western world.

PERCEPTION WITHOUT JUDGMENT:

Observing without judgement is one of the cornerstones to practising mindfulness. It’s crucial to recognise each of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as you travel through them without judging them.

This is more difficult than you would expect. For example, when attempting to be mindful and focus on your breath, your mind may wander and you may begin to recall a previous dispute with your significant other. As a result, you may experience sensations of rage, despair, and frustration. However, the purpose of mindfulness and being conscious of the thoughts that occur — even when attempting to focus on the breath — is to notice rather than criticise those thoughts.

If you’re thinking about a disagreement you had with your significant other, it’s understandable that you’d criticise those thoughts and want to push them away. The purpose, however, is not to push ideas, sentiments, emotions, or other sensations away. It’s more important to recognise them, not to judge them, and to redirect your attention to your original goal.

MINDFULNESS HAS MANY BENEFITS:

Most people are apprehensive when they first start practising mindfulness. After all, mindfulness touts a slew of advantages, but how can simply focusing on the present be so beneficial?

In reality, evidence repeatedly supports the notion that mindfulness will make you healthier, stronger, wiser, calmer, and better at practically… everything you desire to achieve.

Here are some ways mindfulness might benefit you:

MENTAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENT:

According to Harvard researchers5, 16.1 million Americans suffered from depression in 2015. Despite the fact that there are a variety of treatments available, including as medication and cognitive behavioural therapy, not all people respond well to them.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, has been found to improve mental health, and a growing body of evidence6 backs this up.

“Compared to waitlist control and treatment as usual, MBSR [mindfulness-based stress reduction] and MBCT [mindfulness-based cognitive therapy] significantly improved depression symptoms,” according to a meta-analysis of systematic reviews.

PHYSICAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENT:

A new 2018 study found that practising mindfulness for just 15 minutes a day helped individuals lower their blood pressure. Over the course of eight weeks, those who practised mindfulness meditation on a regular basis demonstrated improvements in glucose metabolism, inflammation, and circadian rhythm modulation.

STRESS AND ANXIETY ARE REDUCED:

As the director of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, Jon Kabat-Zinn is particularly well-known for correlating mindfulness to a reduction in stress and anxiety. People from many areas of life, facing a variety of obstacles, participate in mindfulness programmes at the centre in order to “approach life with more composure, energy, understanding, and joy.”

Furthermore, according to a 2013 Massachusetts General Hospital study, participants who participated in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction programme had significantly lower anxiety levels than those who did not participate in the mindfulness programme and instead received generalised stress management education.

FOCUS IMPROVEMENT:

Overall, mindfulness meditation has been associated to higher IQ scores, improved focus and concentration, and superior communication abilities, as well as increased grey matter in the mid-brain.

ADDING MINDFULNESS TO YOUR DAILY LIFE IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK!

The good news is that incorporating mindfulness into your daily life and becoming more attentive in all aspects of your life is easier than you would believe!

In fact, if you want, you can teach yourself to be mindful all day, every day. In Buddhist teaching, awareness is the practise — everything is mindfulness. The simple goal is to maintain mindful awareness while focusing on the work at hand. Whatever task you’re working on, you’re always fully alert and attentive. Whether you’re doing laundry, cooking, playing with your kids, working on a school assignment, or simply taking a walk, your complete focus is on whatever you’re doing.

You may develop your awareness by incorporating the following items into your daily life:

  • Music that is relaxing or soothing
  • Schools that are conscious of their surroundings
  • Children’s activities that are mindful
  • Parenting with awareness
  • Decisions made with mindfulness in mind
  • Healthy living with awareness
  • Videos to help you relax
  • Movements that are mindful
  • Walking with awareness
  • Eating with awareness
  • Exercise and training with intention
  • Meditation that is focused on the present moment
  • Start paying greater attention to what’s going on around you.

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