Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Mindful practices have been used for centuries as a way to enhance and improve personal well-being. Through activities that raise awareness to the emotional state, you are able to gently guide and direct how your mental state influences the physical, emotional and spiritual self. The world has become a busier place. It is louder, filled with distractions, and for many this can create a deeper sense of anxiety, fear, and worry. Those feelings often contribute to mental and physical pain, muddying the waters, and make it harder to focus and concentrate. This is where mindful practice offers a relief, a way to focus energy and thoughts in a more productive and meaningful way.
Benefits of engaging in Mindful Practice
Reduces feelings of anxiety and depression
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces chronic pain
Enhances mental clarity and focus
Empowers natural coping abilities
What Makes Mindful Practice So Effective?
Mindful practices engage the senses, asking you to be fully present in the moment, come to terms with your present environment, and immerse yourself in it. In other words these types of practices ask you to concentrate your focus and remove judgement, worry, self-criticism and distraction, they invite you to simply be. People who regularly engage in mindful practices find they are more easily able to block out the disturbances and interruptions from the world around them. While they may acknowledge the chill of a room, the buzzing of a fly, the itch of a hair brushed across the forehead, they are also able to turn their focus within, so they may sink deeper into a state of calm, peace and serenity. Mindful practice helps the participant move further away from negative influences, and embrace the positive. A freedom is discovered by releasing fear, anxiety, regret, resentment, and worry, creating room for happiness and joy that comes with a sense of calm, peace, serenity, and love.
Examples of mindful practices:
The body scan
Various types of meditation
Your Step-By-Step Guide To Mindful Meditation
Start by sitting cross legged on the floor or in a straight-backed chair.
Close your eyes and focus on an aspect of your breathing, noting the sensation of inhaling air deeply in though your nostrils and exhaling it out through your mouth.
Note how your belly rises and falls with each inhale and exhale.
Begin to narrow your concentration, continuing to raise awareness to the rhythm of your breathing.
As you feel more comfortable, widen your focus to other senses, now opening awareness to the sounds and sensations of the moment including thoughts and ideas in your mind.
Embrace and consider each thought or sensation that comes to you without judgment - it is not good or bad, it simply is.
If you find your mind begin to race or dart off in other directions, slowly bring your focus back to your breathing, as you feel regained focus and a calm return begin to explore expanding your awareness once again.
Repeat these steps as many times as you like.
Bottom line: exploring mindful practice takes time, effort, patience and practice. Like many things in life, the more effort you put in, the more you will gain in return, and the more confident you will feel in them. Mindful practices offer a healthy coping tool, a road to greater insight and understating, and a way to connect to the world around you.
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