What is Practicing Mindfulness?
The causes of stress are aplenty, both external and internal. While we need some form of positive stress to perform better, too much of them can be detrimental to our health.
Wellness and mental health are just some of the things that are important for us to keep track.
Simple exercises, done daily, could help our days stay better.
The practice of mindfulness is a form of meditation. Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the present - of ourselves and our surroundings. It is to bring awareness to your state of mind. What mindfulness practicing does for you is keeping your brain healthy.
SETTING DAILY INTENTIONS
The first thing you do when you wake up should not be to check your socials or emails. Instead, take that few minutes to lock in your purpose(s) for the day. Like saying, “Today, I will do my best to complete my goals. Have some fun. Be calm in today’s challenges.”
Yes, they are really the simple statements. Yet, by setting purposeful intentions, your brain will filter the information relevant to them. This is the logic behind the power of words. It helps you stay focused and accountable to your own words. The drive for you to start off your day with more conviction.
Check in with yourself throughout the day, this is important. Revisit back your intentions. Did you meet your intentions set? If not, what could have been done better?
You’ll find yourself more conscious of your intentions as you go along.
SAVOUR EVERY MOUTHFUL
Think of the time you ate your favourite food and holy, it was done extremely well. The joy.
Food makes people happy. It’s the flavours of your food you are satisfied with that makes it a pleasurable experience.
The problem comes when we get busy. Some would eat while they are still working in front of their computers. Some would have a phone in one hand and eat with the other - watching a Netflix show, checking on their work, etc.
At some point in time, we are all guilty of getting distracted while eating. We do get full from the food but at times, we end up not finishing them because somehow, we ‘didn’t feel like it’.
Mindful eating is the simple act of knowing how hungry you are and really choosing the what, when and how much to eat. It is about making a decisive choice and enjoying every single bite. Not to mention, we can all reduce the number of food waste from practicing mindful eating.
Mindful pauses here can mean being aware that you need to take a short breather when you feel overwhelmed. Gain back your composure with a simple breathing technique, then you begin again.
- Close your eyes.
- Take a couple of deep breaths. (And we mean long inhales and exhales. Get that oxygen in.)
- Listen to your breathing.
Reassessing the situation in a calmer mind always helps.
We often fall into a routine, almost on autopilot. Knowing what to do next and what to expect is both a good and a bad thing.
Depending on the nature of our jobs, some of us might have a very routined life. Going through the same pattern can get mundane over time.
So the second meaning for pressing pause is to bring you back from wandering and being in the present. Subconsciously create new patterns. Try a new route going to work. Do 30 squats after you finish a task. Prepare different lunches.
Dullness is unavoidable because your brain is designed to programme and adapt. But it does not mean it should stay that way.
Mindfulness is observing yourself and alerting when boredom is looming. With new patterns, you can realise new habits as well - a sign that your brain has been reprogrammed.
Need we say more about the benefits of exercising? Besides lowering the risk of developing heart diseases, exercising will help you to maintain a good mental health.
Mind and body works hand in hand and so their benefits interchange very often. Switch around your choice of physical activity. Try a new sport, play team sports or run at different places.
Pay attention to what you are doing and know how it makes you feel.
FOR ANOTHER BETTER DAY
The benefits of practicing mindfulness, backed by many studies, results in much positivity and improvements towards both the mind and body of a person, which explains its immense popularity over the years.
These practices are not difficult but rather, it’s the willingness to try.
With a goal of restructuring one’s mind, consistent mindfulness practices would perhaps help us to better balance our mental, emotional and physical states. Try some of these easy exercises on a daily basis and see how mindfulness could work out for you.