Mindfulness is all about being aware of what’s happening in the moment. It requires that we stay present with ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally. Everyday mindfulness can help connect the mind and body for a more holistic approach to wellness. Incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life allows you to slow down and become more self-aware. In doing so, we reap all kinds of healthy rewards.
Mindfulness boosts your self-awareness
Self-awareness is key to maintaining good health. Knowing your body allows you to quickly feel when something isn’t right. Whether it’s an illness coming on or an unusual pain in the body, being self-aware enables you to assess your health and know when it’s time to see a doctor or seek out other healing avenues. Be mindful and listen to your body – it will tell you when you need rest, hydration or nutrients. Get in the habit of being mindful with your body and you’ll be well on your way to good health. Tip: start a health journal.
Mindfulness helps you connect to your breath
The breath is one of the most powerful tools we have for both physical and mental health. The breath calms the nervous system, which can lower your stress level and your blood pressure. In his book The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites body to your thoughts.” Taking mindful breaths can also help relax the body and slow the heart rate. Deep breathing exercises, like meditation, can assist in calming anxiety and panic attacks. Try this 15 minute guided mindfulness meditation for anxiety.
Mindfulness requires you to be present
One thing about mindfulness is that it really requires you to slow down and be present with what is. In that way, it can calm a busy mind and keep it from dwelling on the past or obsessing about the future, truly allowing you to be in the moment. Being present also increases your ability to focus, making you more productive and enabling you to accomplish your tasks in a meaningful way. The ability to focus will enhance your workouts and is helpful with injury prevention. For tips on how to be more present, check out this article on the Huffington Post.
Tips for incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life:
Eating – Mindfulness in our diet and as we eat our meals will help us make healthier food choices and eat in a way that is nourishing to our body. Read this three part series about mindful eating and try one mindfulness idea at each meal this week.
Exercising – Mindful exercising can ease anxiety and calm the nervous system, lowering your blood pressure and reducing stress. Check out this article about mindfulness on the treadmill and see how your cardio workouts improve.
Mindfulness at work – The Blissful Mind shares 7 tools to cultivate mindfulness at work. Jot these ideas down in a notebook and keep them at your desk as a reminder.
Mindfulness at home – These 10 tips for a mindful home will help you find balance and more peace at home. Mindfulness can have a huge impact on relationships in the home, too.
As you begin your mindfulness journey, allow yourself to slow down and really pay attention to what’s going on – inside and outside of yourself. Tap into the emotions that come up when you breathe deep, allow thoughts to come and go without judgement, and notice how that makes your physical body feel. It’s all connected. Mindfulness can be a game changer for your health if you let it. Try one or two new ways of being mindful this week and see how it goes. Take what works for you, let it become a lifestyle, and guide yourself to a healthier place.