We live in an exceedingly fast-paced world, and at times, we forget to check in with ourselves. We all must be aware of what mindfulness is and what are its benefits. Mindfulness has many empirically demonstrated benefits. For physical health and mental well-being, for treating illnesses, and managing the all-too-common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
And, perhaps, one of the very best things about mindfulness is that we can tap into this state of being almost anywhere.
This blog will help you to understand what exactly mindfulness is? How we can implement it in our day to day life? Why should we practice mindfulness?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA.org, 2012), mindfulness is:
“…a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait. While it might be promoted by certain practices or activities, such as meditation, it is not equivalent to or synonymous with them.”
In other words, mindfulness can only be experienced through practice. It is not fixed and people are not born with it.
You will find a lot of definitions on mindfulness. But it can only be achieved when practiced.
Several researches done on mindfulness states the following benefits of it:
· Improved working memory
· Heightened meta-cognitive awareness
· Lower levels of anxiety
· Reduced emotional reactivity
· Enhanced visual attention
· Reduced stress
· Managing physical pain
How we can implement it in our day to day life?
We are sharing with you some simple exercises you can practice to achieve mindfulness.
This exercise is called 3-Minute Breathing Space can be the perfect technique for those with busy lives and minds. The exercise is broken into three sections, one per minute, and works as follows:
● The first minute is spent on answering the question “how am I doing right now?” while focusing on the feelings, thoughts, and sensations that arise, and trying to give these words and phrases.
● The second minute is spent on keeping awareness of the breath.
● The last minute is used for an expansion of attention outward from the breath, feeling the ways in which your breathing affects the rest of the body.
Keeping a quiet mind can be rather challenging, and thoughts will often pop up. The idea is not to block them, but rather to let them come into your mind and then disappear again. Try to just observe them.
The most important part of mindfulness is to recognize that it is a training of the mind, and like any exercise will take some time to see the benefits. The trick is to persevere, approach the process with self-compassion, and allow for reflection, change, and flexibility between different techniques and interventions.
This exercise is called 3-Step Mindfulness
● Step 1: step out of “auto-pilot” to bring awareness to what you are doing, thinking, and sensing at this moment.
Try to pause and take a comfortable but dignified posture. Notice the thoughts that come up and acknowledge your feelings, but let them pass. Attune yourself to who you are and your current state.
● Step 2: bring awareness to the breathing for six breaths or a minute.
The goal is to focus attention on one thing: your breath. Be aware of the movement of your body with each breath, of how your chest rises and falls, how your belly pushes in and out, and how your lungs expand and contract. Find the pattern of your breath and anchor yourself to the present with this awareness.
● Step 3: expand awareness outward, first to the body then to the environment.
Allow the awareness to expand out to your body. Notice the sensations you are experiencing, like tightness, aches, or perhaps a lightness in your face or shoulders. Keep in mind your body as a whole, as a complete vessel for your inner self;
If you wish, you can then expand your awareness even further to the environment around you. Bring your attention to what is in front of you. Notice the colors, shapes, patterns, and textures of the objects you can see. Be present at this moment, in your awareness of your surroundings.
When you are ready to finish the exercise, open your eyes slowly and try to carry that mindfulness with you as you go about your day.
HAPPY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE!