Mindfulness is the basic human ability to pay active, open attention to the present. It also means being aware of where we are and what we are doing both internally and in the external world around you. When you are mindful, you are not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. You are fully present in the moment. You are paying attention to what is happening in your world at that particular moment without allowing distractions to take your focus elsewhere.
Benefits of mindfulness
- Allows you to observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them to be “good” or “bad”.
- Reduces stress along with depression and anxiety.
- Reduced rumination and worry along with greater feelings of happiness and subjective well-being.
- Less emotional reactivity/more effective emotion regulation.
- Increased concentration and focus – Allows the ability to focus on the task at hand, be creative, and solve problems.
- More adaptability and flexibility, being resilient and navigating with change with ease.
- Improved working memories even under stressful situations.
- Increased relationship satisfaction including relationships with spouse, family members, friends, coworkers, and supervisors.
- Help improve immune functioning and can help reduce high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other health conditions.
- It has also been used to help people quit smoking.
How do you achieve mindfulness?
Most of the people have a hard time being mindful or making mindfulness a part of everyday life. But all you need to do is start an open mind and perhaps 10-15 minutes of time. Mindfulness can be achieved through many different ways including meditation.
Basic Mediation for Stress Management:
- Get into a comfortable position that allows you to completely relax, while still staying awake.
- Close your eyes.
- Clear your mind. This needs practice. When a thought enters your mind, simply notice it and let it go. Don’t judge it. Then turn your attention back to present moment.
- Continue to notice and let go of any thoughts that enter your mind. As you continue to practice, the quiet spaces between thoughts will become longer and more frequent.