• December 28, 2018 3 min read

    Mindfulness is a word you often hear thrown around without giving thought to what it truly means. Some people believe it’s a form of practiced religion - akin to meditation or prayer. While you can achieve mindfulness through meditation, it’s also something you can also incorporate into everyday life - without associating it to religion. Here is everything you need to know about mindfulness and what it can do for you.

    What Does it Mean to Be Mindful?

    Do you stress about stress? Are you becoming one big ball of stress? Then it might be time to begin practicing mindfulness. It has connections to Buddhism, meditation, and Eastern philosophy, but mindfulness on its own doesn’t belong to any specific religion or belief system. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that is directly responsible for reducing stress levels. Being mindful is about being aware of this present moment in time, rather than focusing on the past or future. It’s now, this very moment you are in. It also allows you to connect with your senses, recognize your breathing, and acknowledge how you exist.

    How Do You Become Mindful?

    If you’re tired of stress controlling your life, then it might be time to become more mindful. It’s easy. There are no manuals, no instructions, and no set courses or ways. Instead, you can achieve it through peaceful meditation or taking a moment out of your day. Simply quiet your inner being, turn off the internal chatter, be you, be present, and focus on nothing but this moment.

    How Do You Benefit from Mindfulness?

    Mindfulness has been a part of the Eastern culture for a number of years, but it’s slowly gaining acceptance and popularity in Western civilization - especially as people increasingly struggle with mental health, anxiety, stress, and depression. Mindfulness is associated with cognitive therapy, so it may be able to help with the following conditions:

    Anxiety - practicing mindfulness when you suffer from an anxiety disorder can be beneficial. You may notice reduced symptoms in typical “trigger” situations.

    Relationships - Are you satisfied in your relationship? Do you find yourself stressed during conflicts? Do you communicate effectively? Many studies show that those who practice mindfulness or incorporate it into their personal routine benefit from greater relationship satisfaction. What’s more, they can communicate better and have lower stress levels if involved in conflicts. (1

    Depression - Depression can affect anyone at any time. Often, people quickly turn to anti-depressant medication, believing it is the only option for relief. However, practicing mindfulness can be beneficial and effective too. With practice, it can help to relieve the symptoms of depression. 

    Stress Management - Whether you have minor stress or severe levels that takes over your life, you may find that practicing mindfulness can be of assistance. The effects of being mindful are also long-lasting, helping you to manage future stressful situations.

    Sleep Management - Studies show that being mindful can equate to an extended, more restful night’s slumber.

    Getting Started

    When you find yourself getting wound up, stressed out, and even snapping during the day, those are signs that you need to become more mindful. Understandably, for some people it can be a challenge to stop dwelling on negative thoughts and start being more present in your current setting.

    If you are struggling with mindfulness, take it one step at a time. Begin by changing up your usual thought processes. For example, say you’re at the computer desk working through budgets and numbers. They’re stressing you out, you can’t focus, and you’re about to break down. Put an end to the frustration cycle, get up and spend a few minutes listening to calming music.

    Notice your breathing, the in and out motion of your chest, and the dulcet tones of the music. You can then return to your desk in an entirely different frame of mind, ready to tackle those numbers. That’s how you learn to master mindfulness!

    Some people may believe that mindfulness isn’t for them. But how many people would rather stew in their stress than remove it from their shoulders? Mindfulness is for everyone, but it can take a while for people to understand that it has no religious connection or negative connotation. Anyone and everyone can see the benefit of being more mindful in life.