Most of us live a busy life, filled with responsibilities and ambitions. It is easy to forget to slow down and appreciate what we have. Practicing mindfulness reminds us to live in the moment and be grateful of what is offered to us.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present. It allows us to be more aware of our surroundings and to look inward and acknowledge all of our thoughts and feelings.
"Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by
focusing on the present."
Mindfulness has numerous benefits when it is incorporated into our daily lives:
By being mindful, we can better appreciate the present, instead of constantly dwelling on the past or looking to the future. We are reminded to worry less because there are things we can’t control.
By focusing on the present, where we are and what we are doing isn’t as scary as what is bothering us, and it becomes more comforting. Even if the emotions we feel are negative, mindfulness brings our attention to it instead of trying to avoid addressing them.
With mindfulness, we can learn to accept and better understand such negative emotions. It can help us get a better handle on conflicts and anxiety. When we focus on the moment we are currently in, it allows us to get more satisfaction from the activities as well.
Incorporating Mindfulness to our busy schedules
Here are a few very simple and quick ways to add it into our busy schedules:
Mindful Breathing - Pay attention on every inhale and exhale which brings you to the focus of the present moment.
Mindful Body - Along with mindful breathing, you can also bring attention to your body. Think about how it feels and where you currently are. This keeps your mind from wandering to your worries. It brings your thoughts back to the moment instead of lingering on the negative “what ifs”.
Mindful Walking - Even while on the go, you can still practice mindfulness. On your way to class or as you walk from your car to your workplace, you can make yourself more aware of the steps you are taking. With each step, make a mental note that you have just moved your left or right leg in a purposeful manner. Feel the rhythm of your steps and the feeling of your feet hitting the ground. This can bring a sense of calm.
Mindfulness encourages us to be fully present with people and by being more in touch with our emotions and thoughts, we can better respond to our friends and families. With the continued practice of mindfulness, it will become easier to stop our overthinking and we can be less distracted by the constant influx of information from social media. Not only does it help us, it can strengthen our relationships with others as well.