Living in the moment can help improve your mental health, gratitude levels and enhance life experiences with others. Some studies suggest mindfulness practices can help people manage stress, cope better with serious illnesses, and reduce anxiety and depression. Those who practice mindfulness tend to report an increased ability to relax, a greater appreciation and enthusiasm for life, and improved self-esteem and confidence. Another major benefit of mindfulness is that the practice encourages you to pay attention to your thoughts, actions, emotions, and body. However, altering your daily behaviors to be more attentive, grounded, and present may be challenging, as our culture and society value how much we can accomplish on our long to-do lists or how fast we can complete tasks.
Despite the many distractions and responsibilities we have to shoulder, being more mindful is within anyone’s reach. You can practice mindfulness daily, whether your working on a large project at your job, driving, or running errands, as the practice is rooted in an awareness of your breath and your surroundings and how you navigate situations that may arise.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s happening around us, according to Mindful.org. Although mindfulness is an innate skill we all naturally possess, it’s more available when practiced daily. Whenever you’re able to bring awareness to what you’re experiencing through your senses or state of mind via thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful.
The Benefits of Mindfulness:
According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is mostly used in meditation and certain therapy. Its benefits include lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, and protecting against depression and anxiety. Research suggests mindfulness can help people cope better with rejection and social isolation.
The mindfulness practice encompasses awareness and acceptance, which can help people understand and cope with uncomfortable emotions, ultimately allowing them to gain control, relief, and understanding. Additionally, mindfulness can play a role in helping people break habits such as smoking or overeating. The practice can help your relationships become more satisfying as mindfulness benefits key relationship skills, such as being present and attentive, regulating emotions, being self-aware, and cultivating empathy and compassion.
Here are several easy ways to practice mindfulness daily:
Start your day off with intention: Instead of waking up in the morning and automatically reaching for your phone to check social media, think of taking a few moments to set an intention for how you’d like your day to go.
Savor your meals: Take your time to eat your meals. When you slow down to eat and taste certain elements and flavors within your food, you’ll be able to enjoy it more – experiencing the full sensation of what you’re doing. This act can help bring you back into your body and the present moment.
Take a mindful walk: Be sure to spend some time outside with a short walk – even if it’s only around your house or office. You’ll be able to exercise while staying out of your head and into your body for a few minutes, which can positively alter your day.
Take multiple 15-minute breaks throughout the day: To be mindful, it’s important to check in with your body. If you need to take a break from looking at your screen, do so without feeling guilty.
Breathe deeply: It’s important to focus on your breaths throughout the day to ensure you’re present in every task you’re participating in or encounter with your loved ones.