Can Mindfulness Improve your Well-being and Reduce Anxiety in Today's Stressful World?
Updated: Jan 8
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has become a bit of a wellness trend over the past few years with many Wellness experts touting the benefits of this simple practice. Although it is quite a modern trend, it actually has roots in Buddhism.
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and the world around you and accepting what is without judgment. By focusing on the here and now you are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past. Mindfulness has been found to be valuable for reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood and overall happiness and well-being.
Can Mindfulness help you?
Mindfulness could be the wellness tool for you if you want to improve your mental health and well-being in today's stressful world. If you find your stress and anxiety has increased due to all the uncertainty around at the moment and your mind is overloaded with worries and too many things to focus on, then taking a few minutes to practice mindfulness can help you feel calmer and more centred. It also helps you to become more present in your life as you experience things in the moment more fully, whilst at the same time giving you an awareness of your own mind and how your thought patterns can spiral out of control if they are not monitored.
Over time and with regular practice you will find that you are better able to brake anxious thought patterns and reduce the feelings of stress in your life with mindfulness as part of your well-being toolkit. Many people are noticing improvements in their quality of life by practising mindfulness so it is worth investigating for yourself if you are prone to letting your mind run away with you!
How to practice Mindfulness
The good thing about mindfulness is that, unlike a more formal meditation practice, you don't have to worry about scheduling in a certain block of time to reap the benefits. If you are constantly on the go and don't have the time or inclination to meditate then this is a big plus. You can do it for a few minutes at various times throughout the day whenever you get the opportunity.
If you are new to mindfulness then it might be worth setting yourself little reminders to practice at various intervals throughout the day.
Although mindfulness is very simple it can be quite difficult to master. The key is to take the time to experience your environment with all of your five senses - touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. When you home in on your five senses you connect with your body and give your thinking mind a break.
5 Easy Mindfulness Exercises
Be more mindful while you are eating - Focus on the food you are eating and take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it. Feel its texture in your mouth and take time to chew it instead of mindlessly pushing it down while your thoughts are elsewhere. When you notice your mind wandering turn your attention back to the food you are eating.
Have a mindful coffee or tea break - Take the time to notice the shape, colour and feel of the cup in your hand, the aroma of the drink, how warm or hot it is and its flavour. Savour every sip instead of gulping it. When your mind wanders bring your attention back to the cup in your hand.
Try a mindful shower - When you are have a shower - notice the heat and feel of the water on your skin and scent of the soap. How many times have you found yourself in the shower with your mind on work or other problems you may be having! Bring your mind back to the sensation of the water whenever it wanders off.
Mindful walking - Next time you are walking, particularly in nature - take a moment to truly notice and experience what is around you instead of focusing on the thoughts in your head. Feel the ground under your feet as your walk and breeze against your skin.
Try Mindfulness when doing household chores - Whatever you are doing from washing the dishes or car, general housework or gardening, you can find a time to practice mindfulness by focusing with all of your senses.
When your attention is focused on your senses in the moment your mind is free from stressful thoughts. If you start to notice your thoughts drifting, which they will invariably will, accept and bring your mind back to the present.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
As well as helping to reduce stress and anxiety, practising mindfulness can bring many benefits to your over all health and well-being including:
resilience against depression
greater capacity to deal with adverse events
lower blood pressure
treat heart disease
help reduce pain
alleviate digestive issues
help with addictions and eating disorders
Improve weight loss
increase pleasure in life
make you more thoughtful
and improve relationships
Can anyone benefit from Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can benefit anyone but it does takes practice and effort as your mind is likely to wander off repeatedly at first. With practice and patience you will get better. Eventually you will find that you are living a more mindful life and enjoying the benefits of reduced stress, better mental health, better relationships, and greater overall happiness.
For more information on mindfulness and to receive more structured mindfulness exercises for free visit www.lincsholisticwellness.com/mindfulness or download below
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Reiki and Crystal Reiki Master Teacher
Produced for general informational purposes only and not intended to replace medical advice