What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of living fully in the moment and, without judgment, letting go of any distracting thoughts. It might look like this: You sit still, close your eyes, and silently focus your mind on your breath.
Thoughts will pop into your head, just like leaves falling into a stream. The trick is to simply notice the distracting thoughts. Without dwelling on them, let them drift away like leaves in the current as you focus back on your breath.
Why Is It Helpful?
Practicing mindfulness regularly can help your health in so many ways. People who practice mindfulness and meditation have been proven to:
- Reduce their stress
- Lower their heart rate
- Lower their blood pressure
- Build more mental strength
- Sharpen their attention span
- Feel calmer and more connected
How to Do It
Starting a mindfulness meditation may not seem easy, but it is simple. Mindfulness meditation starts with tuning into your body.
- Find a comfy place to sit or stand where you won’t be interrupted.
- Close your eyes if you can.
- Slow down your breathing. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs with air. Exhale just as slowly. This will soothe your body. Repeat this cycle.
- Now the important part: Distracting thoughts will pop into your mind. The work here is to practice letting those thoughts go, over and over. Let them drift away like leaves in a stream. Without judging yourself, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
- Keep up this cycle for a few minutes to relax your body and strengthen your mind. This practice is like exercise for your mental muscles.
When it’s done often, mindfulness meditation is great for preventing stress from coming up in the first place. It’s also a helpful way to stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Give it a try and practice a little each day. Before you know it, you’ll feel some amazing benefits!