Life is full of stressors for the typical adult these days. There’s pressure to succeed at work, be the perfect parent, reach fitness goals, maintain relationships, fulfill lifelong goals, and more. Basically, it’s no wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed! Most people are at some point. But that doesn’t mean you have to just accept it. Instead, you can get some serenity in your life by practicing mindfulness. Here’s what that is and why it’s important.
You’ll start feeling a bit calmer already when you try the following tips: 40 Ways to Empowerment and Well-Being
Health Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
Just think of mindfulness as the opposite of multitasking. Still not sure what that means? When you’re practicing mindfulness, you’re focusing all your attention on the current moment. This means you’re not listening to a podcast while doing dishes and shouting across the room at the kids. And you’re not thinking about your grocery list or your to-do list or any other list in your life.
Instead, you should be in the moment, just observing your thoughts, feelings, and environment. And as you focus on these details, don’t try figuring out why things are the way they are. Just accept that they are. If you notice you’re feeling sad or mad or happy in the moment, take a second to just feel that way, without judging yourself or thinking about ways to change your feelings. When you’re mindful, there’s no right or wrong way to feel.
So why should you be entertaining the idea of practicing mindfulness? Well, mindfulness and health go together quite well. First, it can improve your physical health, as it can reduce stress, and that alone can relieve pain, improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and decrease stomach problems. Practicing mindfulness can also improve your mental health, which is why it’s often used to help treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and more. Plus, people who practice mindfulness tend to be happier and more upbeat overall. Clearly, the health benefits of mindfulness make it worth a try!
Having trouble getting focused? Read this for some help: Rebooting the Brain: Clearing the Mind
One of the simplest ways of practicing mindfulness is to focus on your breathing. This alone requires you to slow down and pay attention to yourself. Just observe every breath in and every breath out. Then try breathing in through your nose, holding it for three seconds, and releasing your breath through your mouth. You can do this mindfulness exercise anywhere, whether at work, home, or in the car right before you go in to a stressful situation.
Another way to practice mindfulness is to make sure you take an actual lunch break everyday. Many people skip lunch or scarf down food while finishing some work, but it’s better for your health to get away from your desk for a little bit. You can take a stroll outside or find a pretty spot to sit, at which point you should just take in the details of your surroundings. This is a great time to focus on your breathing, too!
You can also reap the health benefits of practicing mindfulness by choosing a word or phrase to focus on during the day. This will be the mantra you repeat in your head all day, so make it positive and even related to your goals if possible.
While you can practice mindfulness during meditation or yoga, you don’t have to. You can start your journey toward mindfulness while sitting in your living room or even at your desk at work. All it takes is a desire to start focusing on the here and now, and you have a good shot of succeeding at mindfulness!
You can easily practice mindfulness during any of these peaceful ways to de-stress: 7 Ways to Practice Self-Care
The original version of this article was first published on FitFormula.