Being mindful isn’t just a fad that will be gone in a few years; it is a tried and true relaxation technique that can reduce stress and allow you to live a better life. Being mindful helps you “achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment.” It quiets our minds so we can practice better self-care and self-control.
Practicing mindfulness brings us back to the present moment when life becomes overwhelming, which helps us become calmer and less stressed. It also lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain, improves sleep, and lessens gastrointestinal difficulties. It can also help us cope with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other issues.
Being mindful is not an easy habit to adopt. If you are like me, life becomes hectic and I usually find myself in damage-control mode. However, there are several apps available that have helped me become more mindful, including Headspace, Insight Timer, Calm, and My Life. These apps are great, depending on what you are looking for. I use My Life because it has a variety of skills I like to use.
However, you don’t need an app to be mindful. You can choose to be mindful in anything you do. You can meditate, do yoga, and even practice mindfulness right where you are; in the shower, when you cook, taking a walk, working on a hobby, or playing with a pet, child, or grandchild. The thing you want to remember is to relax by bringing your attention to the present, and focus more on what you are doing at any moment.
Learning how to be more mindful can help us deal with stressful situations. Many mental health professionals believe that anxiety comes from thinking too much about the past or the future. It is only when we can be “present” that we can find peace. Unfortunately, it is not something that “just happens.” That’s is why it is called, “practicing mindfulness.”
The thing to remember is that meditation is not a one-size-fits-all. There is no right or wrong way to do it; you will want to figure out what works best for you. However, by reducing the stress and anxiety of everyday life, you can drastically improve your overall health.