The Power of Mindfulness and How It Can Benefit Your Life

The Power of Mindfulness and How It Can Benefit Your Life

Article posted in General on 23 January 2018| comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 2 February 2018
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There’s a lot of talk about the power of mindfulness these days. But what exactly is mindfulness and why should you care about it? Is mindfulness just for the younger generations looking to mentally escape the rat race? No. Mindfulness can benefit you at any point in your life.

In this article, you’ll learn what mindfulness is and how you can apply it to your everyday life so you can enjoy the benefits like improved concentration, mental clarity, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, compassion, and acceptance. Decreased anxiety, stress, and pain are also known benefits among many others. Let’s jump in.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is like awareness. Being mindful means you are aware of the present moment; you are truly living in the moment. This can be surprisingly difficult to achieve because our modern world is full of distractions. From your phone to advertisements to the people in the room, there’s an endless list of things begging for your attention.

When you are practicing mindfulness, you might notice your phone ping with a text message, but you are aware that right now you are with family. So you forget about the text, don’t check your phone, and enjoy making memories with your family.

Or, let’s say you’re walking your dog and you remember something you said from the night before. Maybe you start to regret your comment and feel bad about yourself. We’ve all done it.

A mindful person would acknowledge the thought as a lesson to remember next time you’re in a similar situation, but then let it go and only focus on the present moment. You then start to notice how good the fresh air feels, the beautiful weather and blooming flowers, and the way your dog walks with a pep in every step. Because you were mindful of your thoughts, you’re now feeling much happier, and this will probably make the rest of your day better.

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, acknowledging your thoughts without judgement and avoiding rumination of the past or over-anticipation of the future.

How Does Mindfulness Benefit My Life?

Mindfulness can actually benefit your life in almost any way you want it to. Because mindfulness is about setting your intention for what you want in this moment and not letting common distractions get in the way.

For instance, you’re living on a set income (i.e. retirement and social security). You want to live happily within your means without overspending, but you still want to enjoy the occasional indulgence. Practicing mindfulness can help you see more clearly when something is a want vs. a need.

The power of mindfulness will help you reach your goal to spend less on unnecessary or spontaneous items and will lead to more savings and a happier future.

How Do I Practice Mindfulness?

Mindfulness isn’t necessarily something you need to add to your to-do list. But there are a few things you can do to help foster a mindful mentality. If you struggle to keep your mind focused on the present moment, here are a few things you can try.

Meditation

To get better at practicing mindfulness, practice meditation. Meditation is about doing one thing and fully focusing your attention on what you’re doing, much like mindfulness. Just take a seat in a quiet spot and breathe. Focus on your breath. Breathing is all you need to do right now. When a thought creeps in, acknowledge it and let it pass so you can continue to focus on your breath.

In the practice of neurocounseling, participants showed that daily mindfulness meditation practice led to reduced stress and potentially increased learning and memory abilities.

When you’re out living your life and you feel stressed, distracted, or otherwise not good, just stop and take a deep breath. Use that moment to remind yourself of what is important in this moment right now. It might be a project you’re working on, a meal you’re cooking, a book you’re reading, or a conversation with a friend. Remember, that one thing is all that matters and the other thoughts that are distracting you or stressing you out need to be let go.

Yoga

Yoga is also very much focused on your breath and being present in the moment. When you practice yoga, you must be mindful of the moment. You’re paying more attention to your individual breaths and each move and stretch of your body.

Much like mindfulness, yoga is about non-judgement. It doesn’t matter how flexible you are or how much experience you have, it’s about living in the moment with your body and focusing on each individual breath and movement.

Aerobic Exercise

If you don’t already practice meditation and yoga, aerobic exercise might be more familiar to you. Aerobic exercises like running, swimming, or walking force you to focus on your body and your breath. Leading to the same effect as meditation and yoga: you’re focusing on what you’re doing in the current moment.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the power of mindfulness. By practicing daily, you can improve your life by becoming happier, learning new things easier, remembering more, and decreasing stress. All you have to do is be present in the current moment and if you struggle with this meditation, yoga, and aerobic exercises can help. Just breathe.


Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

Photo courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/yoga-outdoor-nature-woman-fitness-2176668/

 

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