You may have heard of mindfulness before, but do you know what it actually is? Many people think that it is some form of meditation. To an extent it is, but it is so much easier to put into place every day. Below are three things you should know about mindfulness, and how you can use it daily.
What is Mindfulness?
Firstly, we should know what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. This can be used as a therapeutic technique, to relieve things like stress, anxiety, depression and tension in your mind and body by helping to lower cortisol levels in your body. It is also a fantastic tool to use daily to aid concentration, increase your productivity and keep you feeling grounded.
Low levels of cortisol in your body is normal and not harmful, however with chronic stress comes increased cortisol levels which can be harmful. Those with elevated levels of cortisol are more prone to a lifetime of health complications that reduce quality of life. Elevated levels of cortisol have been connected to weight gain, type II diabetes, and heart disease. This can all change by regular practice of Mindfulness
With regular practice of Mindfulness you will notice that you will gain clarity of thought, become more focused, productive and your decision-making improves. You will also notice that you will have more positive emotions and more energy. You will find a sense of calmness and be more at peace.
How Can You Practice Mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness is actually so much simpler than you might think. If mindfulness is about being aware of your surroundings, it can also be thought of as living in the present. This means instead of going into autopilot when doing every tasks, you can be more aware of what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.
Have you ever sat down in front of the TV with a packet of Tim Tams, only to realise 30 minutes later that most of the Tim Tams have gone? Practicing mindfulness here means that instead of mindlessly eating, you take note of the taste and texture of your food. You will be more aware of how much you are eating, and probably enjoy it more. And this doesn’t just have to apply to eating, but also walking, cooking, concentrating on your thoughts and emotions, even your work. Regular meditation like yoga can also be very beneficial in helping you practice mindfulness. By practicing mindfulness and being present in every moment, you will feel more grounded and satisfied.
Mindfulness and Relaxation Are Not the Same
While mindfulness is about being present and aware, relaxation is more about switching off and unwinding. It is important to differentiate the two as the practice of them is quite different. However you may find that regularly practicing mindfulness can help you to generally feel more relaxed. It is very beneficial to find the time for both mindfulness and relaxation in our increasingly busy lives.
We hope we have provided you with a bit more knowledge about mindfulness, and inspiration on ways you can incorporate it into your busy life. It is such an easy and simple way to become healthier and happier, so why wouldn’t you try it? Look out for Rosie’s InnerSpace workshops in the New Year, to help you with ways to use mindfulness every day.