Magnifying Mindfulness – The Whats, Whys & Hows.  Part 2

Benefits of a mindful lifestyle

Adopting a mindful lifestyle has many benefits and is integral to leading a healthy, fulfilling life.

  1. It makes life more peaceful and relaxed and you can confront and manage arduous and stressful events with ease.
  2. When you adopt a mindful lifestyle, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation of yourself. You will be gentler and more patient with yourself.
  3. By practicing mindfulness meditation, you can reduce your anxiety levels and protect yourself from depression and panic attacks.
  4. Studies suggest that mindfulness may be beneficial in aiding people to better handle rejection and social isolation.
  5. A mindful lifestyle will bring joie de vivre in your life, which indirectly will strengthen your relationships, both personal and professional.

How to practice mindfulness

When life gets hectic, try to incorporate brief moments of mindfulness throughout the day. Many everyday mundane activities can be transformed into opportunities by practicing mindful awareness. For example, while doing the dishes, try to focus on the sensation of the warm water, the smell of the soap, and the feeling of each dish in your hands. When eating, slow down and savor each bite and notice the flavors, smells, and textures.

A few steps to be followed while practicing mindfulness.

  1. Take the time to cultivate a state of mindfulness, whether through meditation or in smaller moments of awareness throughout the day.
  2.  Start by sitting down and taking deep breaths, focusing on all that is being sensed at the moment.
  3.  Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions, allowing each thought to exist without judgment. 
  4.  Explore any strong emotional reactions that come up, using them as an opportunity to address any underlying challenges. 
  5.  Become aware of your body and the sensations it is feeling in the present moment. 
  6.  Acknowledge any negative thoughts and feelings, but move forward without clinging to them. 
  7.  Discover how the practice of mindfulness can bring you a sense of greater peace and inner joy. 
  8.  Allow yourself to be fully immersed in the sensations of the present moment. 
  9.  Connect with your breath and be aware of its calming and soothing effects.
  10.  Observe your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. 

Obstacles – Mind is the biggest obstacle

Mindfulness has become increasingly popular as a way to live life more meaningfully, but one of its biggest obstacles is often overlooked. Many of us struggle to stick to a mindfulness practice due to a lack of motivation and/or mental distractions like rumination or intrusive thoughts. Self-doubt often creeps in and many people find it difficult to focus on the present moment. The obstacle of the mind can be overcome by creating a beneficial environment. To practice mindfulness, we must learn to be kind to ourselves and recognize that negative thoughts will come and go. Once we are able to accept our present state, we can start to gently shift our focus away from distractions and mind chatter. It helps to create a calming ritual by setting aside time each day to practice mindfulness, such as daily meditation, yoga or simply taking time for a peaceful walk in nature.

Living a mindful lifestyle frees you from the pressures of a hectic daily schedule. It is beneficial for your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. And the best way to get to these much-talked about benefits is to simply start, one baby step at a time.

So, ask yourself, what are your thoughts about it in this very moment?