Article by Cloe Matheson
Ever feel like life is sailing past you without pause? Or are you too caught up in what’s already happened to be able to enjoy the things right in front of you? Especially in times of stress, it can be easy for us to lose ourselves in past memories or in visions of the future – so much so that we forget what being present actually feels like.
Enter mindfulness. You might think that ‘mindfulness’ is just the latest buzzword, but in fact, it’s a genuine meditation principle that, along with regular exercise, can have a truly positive impact on your health and well being during stressful times during the week. Being mindful means letting go of judgment, tuning in to your five senses, and enjoying moments of peace alone. But what are the advantages of incorporating mindfulness into your routine? Check out the top benefits below.
Image Source: Unsplash
1. Because mindfulness makes you present
This is the biggie. How many of us have actually considered what it means to be ‘present’? Let mindfulness be your teacher. One of the most common complaints about modern times is its fast pace: people seem to run fast as cars on the freeway to tick off professional and personal goals before the next person – and before they know it they’ve lost their twenties, then their thirties, forties, and fifties… all without slowing down to smell the roses. Mindfulness, allows us to slow down our lives a little so that we’re consciously preserving how we felt and what we thought at a particular stage for use or reflection later on in our lives. Additionally, being mindful makes us present by encouraging us to accept our emotions rather than just to sail past them.
2. Because mindfulness makes us more aware of our bodies
Mindfulness asks us to drown out all external stimuli in favour of focusing on what’s going on inside. Physically speaking, being mindful can alert us to how our bodies are feeling – something that we’re increasingly less conscious of given all the distractions of the modern world.What’s more, mindfulness can tangibly improve your physical health. Nascent research demonstrates that mindfulness strengthens our immune systems if practiced regularly, and there is even evidence to suggest that being mindful also significantly reduces cell damage.
image source: Unsplash
3. Because mindfulness locks into eco-consciousness
Mindfulness asks us to forge a greater connection to our natural setting, and the environmental movement asks us to do the same thing. Mindfulness is a vital side of the eco-consciousness coin, encouraging activism and enjoyment of nature in the present. Being more aware of your surroundings helps you to think of solutions and innovations – such as new sustainable business ideas – that would be out of reach if your mind was preoccupied with worry.
4. Because mindfulness reduces stress.
Think about it: ruminative thinking is often the sort that dwells on past worries or future ones. That’s why mindfulness meditation is becoming such a common part of cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of psychotherapy.
Image Source: Unsplash
Being mindful means managing the parts of our psyches which would sooner see us dwell on things we can’t change, and instead tuning in to the here and now. Learning how to let go of irrelevant stressors can give many people a new lease on life.Being mindful means managing the parts of our psyches which would sooner see us dwell on things we can’t change, and instead tuning in to the here and now. Learning how to let go of irrelevant stressors can give many people a new lease on life.
5. Because mindfulness is an ‘everywhere’ coping strategy
Stress and anxiety don’t discriminate; they can strike anywhere, at any time. The good news is that mindfulness isn’t limited to a time or location – whether stress or anxiety tends to creep in home, at the gym, or at work, mindfulness is a coping strategy for any place.
Freelance writer Cloe hails from New Zealand and loves penning articles for various blogs, sites and local businesses such as Sea Containers. She loves taking time to meditate and reflect in the morning – even just a few minutes help her stay inspired and motivated when writing. Visit Cloe Writes to read more of her published work