Updated: Mar 16
You may have heard about mindfulness — the ability to be fully present in the moment- and the numerous benefits it has, from decreased stress to increased happiness...
But what exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be defined as the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm (Cambridge Dictionary).
Essentially, it means being (intentionally) aware and present in every moment and being fully engaged in what is happening in one’s surroundings – with acceptance and judgment free. 🧘
Sometimes while doing daily tasks, we tend to go into auto pilot, not aware of what we are experiencing, and seem "switched off," or caught in thoughts from the past (often regrets) or plans for the future, much of which is repetitive. 😴
Therefore...mindfulness helps us be present in our lives and gives us some control over our reactions and repetitive thought patterns. It helps hit pause on the business of life and get a clearer picture of a situation, in order to respond more skillfully!
So, mindfulness is a different state than our normal default way of thinking right...but how can we incorporate it?
There are many different practices that can help develop mindfulness in your everyday routine. For example, different types of meditation 🧘, movements 🏃♂️, or even simply being in outside in fresh air 🍃
You can start practicing mindfulness at any given time, just know there is no right way and you just have to trust in the process. Mindfulness is not always easy as sometimes we can become consumed in our thoughts, feelings, distress etc. which naturally arise and can divert our attention. But with practice, skills do increase, and we start to become more aware of our surroundings without getting lost in any other experiences. Therefore, we can also start to notice any underlying reactivity, such as annoyance or frustration during a situation.
Overall, practicing mindfulness is associated with changes in the structure and function of the brain 😯 . This can also help enhance our awareness to physiological responses to stress or anxiety cues, suggesting that this practice has important impacts on our physical and emotional health! 🥰