Mindfulness: Why & How
Mindfulness is a practice that can help you cultivate awareness in your day-to-day life, it is a state of mind where you focus on the present moment. Have you had moments, or days where you felt as though you were on autopilot, or just surviving the day? Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress? Mindfulness can help in many ways to bring your attention back to the present moment, to focus on the here and now.
Mindfulness has many benefits. One of the more obvious, is that it brings you back to the present moment, and helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It can also help you develop awareness in your body, which in turn, can help you identify where you may be feeling stress, tension, or emotions in your body. The ability to identify emotions within your body can help you regulate your emotions more effectively. Mindfulness can also help to improve your physical health, as it lowers stress & blood pressure and helps to improve sleep.
We often think of meditation when we hear mindfulness. Meditation is a very common strategy to practice mindfulness, however, there are other ways if meditation is not for you. Starting with meditation though, it can be modified to meet your needs, such as scripts, visualizations, or even progressive muscle relaxation scripts. Meditations can often be found on YouTube, or other sites found through Google search. Other ways to practice Mindfulness include, walking in nature, music, mindful eating, journaling, breathing exercises, connecting with your 5 senses, and/or exercising.
The purpose of mindfulness is to connect to the present moment, with intention to cultivate awareness, in a kind, curious, and non-judgmental way. To be non-judgmental means to view things as they are, without your own opinion or judgment, to focus on the facts.