Research has shown mindfulness improves anxiety, insomnia, focus, and concentration. But what is mindfulness? And how do you practice it? Within the past few years, the topic of living more mindfully has gained a lot of attention. Many people think of yoga or meditation when they hear the term mindfulness, but mindfulness is much more than meditating or practicing yoga. In its purest form, mindfulness is a lifestyle. Mindfulness is anything that anchors you to the present moment. With practice, it creates space to respond instead of reacting to situations or obstacles in our lives.
Mindfulness in Our Daily Lives
Many of us practice mindfulness without actually realizing we’re doing it. Have you ever been so overwhelmed with tasks that your performance or concentration was adversely affected, and you forced yourself to focus on one task at a time? That’s mindfulness.
Have you ever been in a heated argument with a friend, family member, or partner and forced yourself to take a step back to breathe and listen instead of reacting in defense? That’s mindfulness. Whenever you intentionally decide to approach situations related to work, parenting, and relationships, you’re living mindfully.
Try These Techniques to Encourage Mindfulness:
- Practice acceptance and patience: stressful situations, problems, and suffering are inevitable aspects of life. Giving yourself and your loved ones grace to experience, feel, and process difficult emotions is a great way to cultivate compassion and mindfulness. Hard feelings and emotions eventually pass, and you may find that you’re able to work through hard problems when you allow yourself to calm down.
- Minimize distractions: start practicing mindfulness by focusing on one thing at a time. You can do this by creating boundaries around using technology while eating, checking emails before bed, or setting timers for specific tasks instead of doing them all at once.
- Listen to your body: while doing everyday activities, routinely bring attention back to your body. What does your body feel like while answering the phone, watching TV, driving, sitting in a meeting? When you’re upset, angry, joyful, or at peace, bring attention to how those emotions feel in your body.
Wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, there’s always a doorway to a more profound sense of peace and mindfulness.
Want some more recommendations on how to help increase focus and reduce anxiety? Schedule a free consult with the naturopathic doctors at Living Wellness Medical Center by calling: 480-588-6856.