The word’mindful’ has been around for a while now but not everyone knows what it means or why they should practice it.
Mindfulness is something that you can do right now to improve your life by being more focused on the present moment. Here’s everything you need to know about what mindfulness is, and how it benefits you.
1. The Definition of mindfulness
Mindfulness is defined as “the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” In other words, there are three important parts to mindfulness.
First, paying attention. This is where you focus on something (in this case, your breath) without getting distracted. Second, it’s all happening ‘right here, right now’. Finally, when you pay attention mindfully it’s done with no judgment or evaluation.
This means that you don’t analyze or think about what you are doing. Instead, you just focus on the task at hand, which might be breathing or walking, without judging yourself.
2. Facts about mindfulness
There are many studies that have shown the benefits of using mindfulness techniques. One study found that people who had been diagnosed with anxiety were able to reduce their symptoms after completing an eight week course of meditation. Another study discovered that people who practiced mindfulness during daily activities experienced lower levels of stress than those who did not.
Another study showed that mindfulness training could help in reducing negative thoughts and feelings such as depression, hopelessness, and anger.
Mindfulness also improves your cognitive functioning, memory, and ability to concentrate. People who are mindful tend to make better decisions and are less likely to procrastinate.
3. Purpose of mindfulness
Mindfulness is used for both personal development and business purposes.
For personal development it helps you to increase awareness of your inner self, so you become more aware of your emotions and thoughts. You then learn how to handle them more effectively. This includes learning to focus more on the positive aspects of your life, instead of dwelling on past mistakes or future fears.
When you learn to live in the moment you are more present, which leads to experiencing more happiness and contentment. By becoming more intentional and attentive, you naturally become happier.
If you want to apply mindfulness to your work, it will help you to learn to handle challenging situations more effectively. If you find yourself constantly worrying about things, it may be because you aren’t fully focusing on the problem. Mindfulness teaches us to stay in the moment, accept things as they are, and learn from our mistakes.
4. Benefits of mindfulness
By practicing mindfulness you are strengthening your brain’s neural connections. When you develop these connections you’re able to form new habits and create new memories.
It’s also been shown that mindfulness can lead to improved immune function. So, if you regularly use mindfulness techniques you should be able to fight off colds and infections better than before.
You also get to practice being present in every situation you face, so you learn to embrace and enjoy life instead of dreading certain events.
And finally, mindfulness can be very effective in helping you deal with pain. Studies have found that it helps to reduce chronic back pain and improve the quality of life of people with cancer.
5. Develop mindfulness in different ways
Mindfulness is most commonly taught via meditation. There are several different types of meditation, including Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana meditation, Yoga meditation, Tibetan Buddhist meditation, and others.
Transcendental meditation is based on a mantra, and is best suited for beginners. With other types of meditation you can choose to simply be quiet, or you can engage in some type of exercise like yoga that will strengthen your body.
When you start meditating it’s best to begin with something simple, like focusing on your breath. But if you have never meditated before, you should first check out beginner courses online.
And remember, meditation doesn’t have to take a lot of time. You can try short bursts of meditation throughout the day. For example, you can do 10 minutes of deep breathing and 10 minutes of relaxation exercises. Or maybe you could try taking a walk and focusing only on your surroundings.
In addition, you can incorporate mindfulness into everyday tasks. Try to be mindful when eating, brushing your teeth, driving, showering, going to bed, etc. This will help you train your brain to be more present.