Your Guide To Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of sustaining an enhanced state of awareness. It is a tool used to achieve total recognition of every thought, experience, sensation and emotion as they present themselves to you. While practicing mindfulness, these feelings and thoughts shouldn’t be judged as right or wrong, because the concept of being mindful emphasizes that there is no correct way to think or feel.
Mindfulness reduces stress levels. Aside from allowing us to perceive stress in a healthier way, mindful meditation is actually correlated to a decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol.
It decreases the risk of depression. Mindfulness plays a role in lowering the risk of depression among pregnant women and teenagers.
The practice decreases chronic pain. Thanks to the utilization of mindful techniques, those who suffer from chronic pain are able to effectively manage their symptoms, and even experience less pain in general.
It improves focus. Mindfulness has been positively related to increased focus, and the newfound ability to avoid mental overload and burnout.
It helps you break bad habits. Mindfulness Based Addiction Treatment (MBAT) has been incorporated into many recovery programs, as it allows addicts to stop, think and recognize the options they had when faced with a habit, which helped them to not pursue their desires.
Try a Mindfulness Exercise
Take a brief moment (only 15 minutes) and conduct a five-step mindfulness exercise by doing the following:
- Get rid of all distractions, shutting off your cell phone, laptop, tablet and television.
- Settle yourself into a comfortable position.
- Acknowledge all incoming thoughts and feelings, then refocus without judging them.
- Inhale and exhale slowly for 10 minutes, making yourself aware of each breath you take.
- Take note of your recurring thoughts and feelings once again, and refocus accordingly without judgment.
Although there are countless versions of a mindful meditation practice, the underlying concept of focusing on your body, breath, thoughts and feelings are universally applied to each.