Stress seems to be the underlying issue with many of our adverse conditions, whether they are psychological of physical. Much research shows that chronic stress is linked to depression and can contribute to health problems, including heart disease, digestive disorders, and headaches. But, what do we mean by “Mindfulness?” Why is it important for us to cultivate?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While the act of mindfulness is important for all ages, it is especially important as we grow older and our minds more naturally jump around and/or become less focused. We are being mindful whenever we bring awareness to whatever we directly experience via our senses or state of mind, including our thoughts and emotions. The benefits of mindfulness are vast and support your well-being as it helps to improve memory, keep the mind centered, reduce stress, relieve depression, improve sleep, alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties, and produce greatly energy just to name a few. As a first step to “Mindfulness” start with the following simple exercise.
Quietly Begin the Day with Yourself
Spending just 5 – 10 minutes in the morning in silence can help establish the tone for the rest of the day. This quiet time will get you focused and geared for the day.
Set Good Intentions
Take a few moments at the start of each day to establish good thoughts and intentions for yourself and perhaps also for others. Start with loving kindness for yourself.
Take notice while eating a daily meal or snack. What does the food actually look like, smell like, feel like, taste like? Use this time to be present in the moment.
Take Three Deep Breaths
Take three slow deep breaths in and three deep exhalation breaths out as many times as needed throughout your day can help manage feelings of anxiety or stress.
Staying hydrated with water and herbal teas is a very small kind act towards yourself and, of course, towards your health.
Many of us sit for so long throughout the day and experience tension or tightness in the muscles, especially in the neck or back. Take time throughout the day to move and stretch your body. If possible, go outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Make this part of your daily routine.
Set Realistic and Manageable Expectations
We may feel overwhelmed from time to time and often have numerous tasks and responsibilities at hand. Remove those burdens that we unnecessarily place upon ourselves. Many times, we tend to be our own worst enemy.
What Went Right During the Day?
Finally, spend some time before you fall asleep thinking of any 3 things that went right for you during the day or that you feel grateful for, is a great way to conclude the day.
Adopted from: SleepPhones.com