Let me start with two simple sentences. The first one is – “you are mindful.” And the next is “your mind is full”. Both sound similar, but they still differ more than the difference between mountains and beaches. The first indicates self improvement, while the latter demands activities to appease your soul.
Our mind is the tool to solve each of our problems. We all know that. But, the shocking fact is – the human mind struggles to settle down. Most of the time, the present isn’t where our minds are. It’s either in the past or the future.
As a result, it is chock-full of concepts, stories, thoughts, assumptions, and narratives that may or may not be relevant to the current situation. Sometimes, our minds get busy making up stories unrelated to reality.
Here comes the utility of mindfulness. It offers you respite from a busy mind. Want to know how to use mindfulness in your daily life? Then, keep reading!
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means the practice of delicately focusing your awareness on the current situation. It involves focusing on sensations to root oneself in their body and the present moment. You can practice mindfulness under guided meditation or during regular tasks like walking, cooking, and cleaning. On the contrary, having a full mind indicates that you are not entirely rooted in the here and now.
The mind is designed to think, evaluate, and solve problems. That’s what it does. If you leave your mind with its own devices, it will continually look for fresh stimuli, ideas to consider, and escape routes from reality.
It will help you gradually retrain your mind to focus on the present moment. It’s like taking control of your thoughts instead of allowing them to control you. The mind is ultimately just a stubborn toddler. Practicing mindfulness with patience while having compassion for yourself can train your mind to stay still.
Benefits of mindfulness:
Several types of research by psychologists, psychiatrists, and mindfulness coaches have been established on the advantages of mindfulness. When John Kabat-Zinn launched the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979, formal research on mindfulness in the Western world got underway.
Kabat-Zinn integrated mindfulness practices with his studies of Hatha yoga and Buddhist principles he had acquired from various teachers. Since then, research into MBSR and other mindfulness practices has exploded. And the advantages are numerous.
This may include:
- Enhancing concentration span
- Delaying brain aging
- Better cognitive ability
- Minimizing symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety
- Aiding in pain management
- Boosting the feelings of wellbeing
- Enhancing the quality of life for people who have chronic illnesses
How to practice mindfulness?
Focusing on the breath and constantly resting your attention on the inhale and exhale is the most straightforward technique to practice mindfulness. Here are the three steps of the procedure:
Step 1: Start by becoming conscious of how you breathe. Feel your chest and abdomen rising and falling. Feel the air entering and exiting your nose. Observe how it feels chilly when you inhale and warm when you exhale.
Step 2: You’ll eventually realize that your attention has shifted or something is happening in the circumstance that has distracted you. Immediately return the focus to the breath without grading or critiquing your performance. Other than simply being with the breath, there is no goal.
Step 3: Keep doing this again and again. You can practice for a certain period or all day long.