We’ve all had those moments where we’re running through the motions and playing out the actions, but lack the feeling of presence. We’re there, but we’re not really there.
Lately, I could be sitting in a conversation with a friend or family member, and find myself completely spaced out. It’s as though I’d be grasping to reach their words but was far too deep in my own mind to engage.
What Is Being Mindful?
Mindfulness is about slowing down our lives and being truly present in the moments unfolding in front of us. It’s about clearing our busy minds and making room for deeper thinking. Mindfulness is about knowing where we are, what we are doing, and staying calm in busy moments. When being mindful, we cultivate the best qualities of ourselves and simply feel better. Mindfulness allows us to expel judgement and embrace creativity, curiosity and acceptance.
What Are The Benefits?
For me, I started practicing mindfulness when my anxiety began to hinder the quality of my life. I would look at obstacles in my life as my own shortcomings, and believed I wasn’t good enough, living a life destined for failure. Sounds pretty morbid, right? If you suffer from anxiety, or find your mind is focusing on a million things at once, mindfulness can truly change the way you think.
Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness has led to better control of stress, improved sleep, and alleviating anxiety, pain, and depression. It also improves our ability to fully immerse ourselves in experiences and improves creativity (Time Magazine, 5). When we’re anxious, our minds are in a “fight or flight” mode. Practicing mindfulness can actually help reduce that restless brain activity and introduce a calmness in the mind. By changing your thoughts, you can change the way you perceive situations, and even the way you see yourself.
How Can You Practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is something we all have the ability to do. We can all cultivate these qualities which inherently help us recognize our potential and worth. If you’ve never practiced any kind of meditation or are new to meditating, this is a great place to start.
Breathing mediations are also a wonderful way to start your day with a fresh and clear mind.
If anxiety is something you struggle with, this yoga mediation is a great way to reduce stress and mediate anxious thinking.
Have you practiced mindfulness before? What are your thoughts?
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn