By Gareth Michael
Mindfulness has become a popular talking point as more people seek ways to calm their minds and regain power over a life that can feel overwhelming. Daily life can be filled with distractions and chaos, making it hard to focus on our thoughts and feelings. Also, the pace of everyday life, as we know it, can affect both our health and happiness, with many people facing burnout.
So how can mindfulness help? First, what is mindfulness? The concept of mindfulness is simply about focusing your attention and awareness on the present moment. When we focus on the present, we are able to pay attention to what is happening in the mind and the body, as well as outside of us. Mindfulness gently brings our awareness back to now, where the mind cannot run away.
But why is mindfulness important, and how easy is it to practice? In this article, we’ll delve into the different ways of incorporating mindfulness into your life and its impact on your well-being.
5 Ways Practicing Mindfulness Will Improve Your Life
More than ever, people seek to break free from old ways of being to improve their mental health and well-being. Mindfulness can be a way to help in this process. Here are 5 ways mindfulness can improve your life:
1. Increases inner peace
When we connect with the present moment, we become detached from worries that may keep us from feeling peaceful. The best time to practice mindfulness is when you first wake up in the morning, so you can start your day in the present, allowing you to feel more connected to your true self and to calmness.
2. Assists with emotion regulation
When we are more present, we can be aware of and manage our emotions more effectively. This leads to fewer emotional outbursts, reactivity, and conflicts. And the ability to pause before deciding how to confront a situation can be highly effective in making the best choices in the moment.
3. Helps to reduce stress
With practice, mindfulness improves our ability to deal with stress and/or stressful situations. It brings us back to the here and now so we can pay attention to the present moment, where we aren’t worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. The present moment is simply peaceful.
4. Improved focus
Practicing mindfulness throughout the day helps the mind to stay focused instead of wandering. So your energy is tuned into what is happening in the now rather than being pulled in various directions and consumed by many different thoughts.
5. Improves self-awareness
Slowing down and noticing your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings also allows you to become self-reflective. We learn to become more aware when we bring our attention to the present moment. You can read more about what emotional self-awareness is and why it’s beneficial here.
How to Practice Mindfulness
You can incorporate mindfulness into ordinary parts of daily life. When you consciously choose to slow down, you give yourself enough space to start paying attention to what is happening in your environment, the thoughts you are having, or the messages your body is giving you.
Mindfulness exercises such as checking in with yourself and connecting with your senses are good places to begin. Think about meal times. How often do you rush eating your food, not noticing how it tastes, feels, and smells? Mindful eating is a great way to return to the present moment.
Another popular exercise is mindfulness meditation. The aim of this meditation practice is to focus on your breath. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Notice any thoughts that you are having, letting them pass without judgment. Become the observer of what is happening in your mind and body around you. If your mind begins to wander, simply bring it back to your breathing without judgment. Therapists also use this technique in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), found to be especially useful for treating anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness is an excellent tool for reconnecting us with our bodies and enhancing our overall well-being. The wonderful thing is it’s accessible to all of us and easy to add to your daily life. Challenge yourself to pause today and experience how it can improve your life too.
About the Author
Gareth Michael is a spiritual advisor, teacher, and author of the best-selling book Ever-changing Perspectives. He provides tangible, practical spiritual support stemming from his own life lessons and Michael’s profound wisdom and teachings. His personalized guidance helps people heal, find their spiritual direction, and understand their purpose. He also provides additional teachings through his spiritual podcast.