Mindfulness is a useful practice in our overstimulated, consumer-driven lives. If practiced every day, it can improve your health both mentally and physically.
But What Is Mindfulness Really?
The Website for the American Mindfulness Research Associated defines mindfulness as a process that reminds us to pause and observe the present moment. While this sounds like a perfectly sensible and beneficial thing to do when we are going too fast through life or being distracted, not enough of us are doing it. Figures from almost every health organization show increases in anxiety across multiple age groups and the blame are mostly on lifestyle.
So How Can Mindfulness Help Us?
Some studies have been published to see how meditation affects us, however, much of the research makes use of complex programs like yoga, stretching, and a variety of meditation techniques. Results show positive effects on the mind and body, but it’s hard to determine what caused the change since each of these additional activities has an effect.
Mindfulness training can improve concentration and memory, making your brain more capable of handling tasks at school or work, all while using fewer resources. Here are some of the main benefits:
- Improves Concentration
The very fact that being mindful means focusing your senses on the present means that you can improve concentration at work, home, or anywhere else, and this will increase productivity. It doesn’t matter if you’re studying for a test or writing down a piece of music; you can always use more concentration to make our work better.
- Makes You Feel Calm
Do you have ADHD, or get anxious? Mindfulness meditation will make you feel calmer, because it will reduce the number of stress hormones released in your body, and it will also release endorphins to counter the effects of stress-causing agents. Instead of focusing on what’s going on inside you when anxious, meditation draws your attention away from your random thoughts, and this calms down the nerves.
- Keeps You Away from Negative Thoughts
Many of us can always improve the way we think, so as to make life better for everybody; but how do you get to a place where your thoughts don’t limit you or pull you back? One way is through meditation, and in particular, practicing mindfulness. It may not be immediately obvious how this will work for you, but any effort to increase mindfulness will reduce negative thoughts and increase awareness.
- Become More in Tune With Others
Worried that you might be losing your connection with the people around you? The only way this happens is when you get distracted or pulled into something that your connection to the world around you gets weaker. By practicing mindfulness, you will be better able to tune into the energy of people you interact with, and this will increase your bond and make communication less tedious.
- Mindfulness tips for beginners
The best recommendation for beginners has to be breath awareness meditation. So, you sit down and close your eyes (optional), and then focus on your breath, paying attention tot he sensation of inhalation and exhalation, the feeling of your chest expanding and contracting; and so on. Ten minutes of this practice every day will definitely increase sensations and feelings while reducing thoughts. In this way, meditation becomes a form of brain network training.
Here are some tips for beginners:
- Sit often
Observe the environment around you and just take in the scene. By training your mind to do this, you will be able to “zone out” for a few minutes to get centered, and it will improve focus and memory.
- Go easy on yourself
If you are far from being zen, it won’t help anybody to be harsh to yourself. A little self-love will go a long way in releasing the right energy so you can evolve positively. Patience is needed here because it takes quite a bit of effort to retrain the brain and gain control.
- Eat well
Fresh healthy food does more than just keep you fit; it has an effect on your psychological health as well and will influence your emotions. Watch that you eat fresh food and plenty of vegetables and avoid over-processed food.
- Practice healthy sleeping habits
To keep both hemispheres of your brain working efficiently, you must get enough sleep every night and this means setting up a regular sleep pattern where you get a minimum of 7 hours in bed. Also, sleeping during the day may not be as relaxing as nighttime, because your brain gets a different message when light particles are present.
- Be patient and have fun
Don’t go out expecting your whole life to change immediately, there may be pushback from your brain from years of programming, so allow yourself time to become more aware, and it will improve your life in ways you hadn’t even thought of.