Every day, we spend a great amount of time thinking about what happened in the past or imagining the future. Whether it is about the embarrassing moment that you had last week or your upcoming trip to the Bahamas, our mind is rarely in the present moment.
According to the Greater Good Science Center, mindfulness is being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment in the present moment with no judgment. You pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without believing it is the “right” or “wrong” way. Current studies indicate that practicing mindfulness meditation can provide psychological, social and physical benefits. Many studies show that practicing mindfulness increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions and stress. In addition, it can improve your relationships, promote compassion and help us focus.
Meditation is not the only way to cultivate mindfulness. There are many different techniques to practice mindfulness, so do not be discouraged if meditation is not for you. Your ability to recognize what your mind is engaging with and being able to control it is considered a core strength. Try some of these basic tips on how to start incorporating mindfulness in your everyday life!
Mindfulness in Everyday Life
- Basic Mindfulness Meditation: Sit quietly and focus on your breathing or a word that you repeat silently. Allow any thoughts or feelings to pass without judgment and return your focus onto your breathing or word.
- The Body Scan: Focus your attention along your body and accept whatever you sense in your body parts. Try not to change or control these feelings.
- The Raisin Exercise: Use all your senses, one by one, to observe a raisin or any other food in great detail, from the way it feels in your hand to the way it tastes
- Walking Meditation: Focus on the movement of your body as you walk, such as the way your feet touch and leave the ground.
Did You Know?
- Mindfulness increases the density of the gray matter in the brain, which is connected to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy.
- Practicing mindfulness can help reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep.
- Mindfulness meditation is often used to treat mental health problems, such as depression, eating disorders and couples’ conflicts.
- Our mind can process 126 pieces of information every second.