Since we’re all spending a little bit more time indoors these days, what better thing to do than practice some self care? Many people are now becoming interested in mindfulness, and perhaps you have some unanswered questions about what mindfulness actually is, and how to make it part of your daily routine.
Mindfulness is defined as the meaningful moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and the surrounding environment, and accepting it without judgment. With regular practice, mindfulness strengthens our mind to always come back to the present moment, setting aside our worries and stress about the past and future. What this means is essentially, we have the capacity to control how we live in this present moment.
Mindfulness has been studied for centuries, and it’s benefits are countless. For instance, mindfulness meditation is known to improve:
- Sense of self
- Blood pressure
- Immune system
Amazingly, the latest research has also suggested that we have the power to literally change our brains by changing our minds! In one study, a group of people participated in 30 min of daily meditation for 8 weeks. Results indicated a greater density of grey matter in their brains- the region associated with functions such as memory, stress, and empathy.
Meditation in a sense has similar effects on the brain to what exercise has on the body!
How can YOU put mindfulness to practice? Here are a few easy suggestions to get started:
- Begin to pay attention and recognize your thoughts and feelings
- Allow your thoughts and feelings to simply be there in the present moment with you
- Observe how these thoughts and feelings impact your body
- Take time to nurture yourself
You could also practice mindfulness while eating: pay attention to how your food tastes, it’s texture, how it makes you feel, being appreciative of your meal.
Another idea is to practice mindfulness while socializing! Give someone your full attention, make sure to actively listen to them, and value the time with others in the present moment.
There are also many great apps that provide mindfulness tools and guided meditations. A few are listed below:
Let me know in the comments if you try including mindfulness practices in your daily life, and make sure to subscribe for more tips on mindful thinking, body love, and wholesome living.