April 5th, 2020 12:00am
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice that helps in increasing self-awareness in the practitioner. People practicing Mindful Living learn to focus more on the present. With time, Mindful Living also enables individuals to overcome negative distractions and think positively.
In the past few decades, Mindful Living has become quite popular throughout the world. This ancient technique is now being practiced in various schools, hospitals, workplaces, and homes. Studies have shown that Mindful Living helps in preventing various diseases. It also helps in keeping an individual mentally and emotionally stable and healthy.
How to Practice Mindfulness:
Practicing Mindfulness is all about creating space for ourselves. Mindfulness allows us to become aware of ourselves, our surroundings, situations, our thought process, negative distractions, etc. Before you start practicing Mindfulness, remember it is an art. It will take some time to become an expert in the technique of Mindfulness.
Our brain works very fast. At any given time, hundreds of thoughts cross our minds. In the beginning, focussing on the present situation might be difficult. There is no need to worry. If you start realizing when your brain has started wandering, then it shows that you are on the right track. As, when you know that your mind has drifted from the present moment, you can wilfully try to bring it back. With time, you will get tuned to ignore wandering thoughts and concentrate only on the present moment.
Practicing Mindfulness does not require anything. It can be practiced anytime and anywhere. You need to dedicate some of your time and space.
- Take a Seat
Firstly, find a place where you can practice Mindfulness. Look for a quiet and calm place. Sit in a cross-legged position or on your knees, whichever is comfortable. Select a sitting posture in which you can sit comfortably throughout the practice session.
- Set a Time Limit
In the beginning, it is advisable to practice Mindfulness for shorter durations like 5-10 minutes only. With passing time, you can slowly and steadily increase the time limit.
- Feel Your Breath
Focus on your breaths. Feel the process of inhaling and exhaling.
- Notice When Your Mind Has Wandered
Once you realize that your mind has started wandering, try getting your concentration back on your breaths. Remember, this entire exercise aims to concentrate only on the present moment. Hence, even if other thoughts come to your mind, try not to overthink it, just come back and focus on your breathing process.
To reap the benefits of the art of Mindfulness, doing it in the right manner is very important. You can refer to "Zenfulspirit.com" and learn the technique of Mindful Living.
Benefits of Mindfulness:
1. Reduces Anxiety
Practicing Mindfulness help in reducing the levels of anxiety. Mindful Living changes the thought process of the practitioner. Individuals learn to see the positive side of the situation. The regular practice of Mindfulness calms and relaxes our brain and body. Studies have shown that Mindful Living enhances the ability to balance emotions. This further results in improving the mood and the ability to handle stressful situations.
2. Reduced Rumination
Word 'Rumination' refers to overthinking about past events, failures, or current suffering. Rumination can be quite dangerous for our mental health. Too much negative thinking or negative thoughts are found to be a significant reason behind various mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, self-harm, alcohol abuse, etc.
Mindful Living is a technique that teaches us to have control over our wandering thoughts and concentrate on the present moment. Mindfulness makes us aware of the triggers that generate negative thoughts and also increases the ability of an individual to recognize the moment when the mind starts wandering. Bringing back our thoughts to the present moment becomes much easier if we know that our brain has begun drifting away.
Having control over our wandering thoughts, especially negative ones, save us from a lot of suffering and frustration.
3. Boosts to Working Memory
Our brain is like a busy road where thousands of thoughts come and go. Under such conditions, thinking straight becomes quite tricky. Mindful Living prevents the mind from drifting. The regular practice of Mindfulness relaxes and calms the mind. It increases the ability of the brain to focus on the things at hand. Retrieving information also becomes easier when our mind is relaxed.
Stress and anxiety increase the cortisol level in the body. A higher level of cortisol can obstruct our ability to remember. Mindful Living reduces stress and anxiety levels in the body, which further helps in boosting memory.
4. Improves Interpersonal Relationships
Having a successful relationship is all about keeping others above yourself, understanding the thoughts and emotions of the people around you. Mindful Living enables an individual to live in the present, without judgment.
Mindfulness also helps in developing positive qualities like kindness, empathy, gratitude, sensitivity, etc. With time, practitioners develop a positive attitude towards life, people around them, and the situation. All these together lay the foundation for a healthy relationship.
5. Strengthens Immune System
Our brain acts as the CPU for our bodies. Every organ, process, and system is connected to the brain. The immune system is no exception. Researchers have found a reduction in markers of inflammation, an increase in the production of CD-4 cells, and the telomerase activity in the individual's practicing Mindful Living. All of these together result in an enhanced immune system.
6. Reduces Insomnia
Mindful Living help in improving sleep disorder by lowering stress and anxiety.
7. Increases Focus and Attention Span
Mindfulness is a practice that aims at self-awareness and living in the present moment. Mindful Living enables the ability of an individual to be aware of himself, his situation, and the actions. It prevents our minds from getting entangled in wandering thoughts. It enhances our ability to concentrate on the present by preventing us from getting lost in our past or future.
by Randy Gardner of Zenful Spirit