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We all are so busy in our lives that we often don’t have time for ourselves—doing the house chores while watching the kids or planning the weekend while going through hundreds of office files. We are always in a rush to accomplish such necessary tasks that we lose our connection to the present moment-missing out on how we feel and what we are actually doing.

Have you ever noticed the beautiful blooming flowers on your way to work? Or have you been having a healthy breakfast? If not, then it’s time for you to practice mindfulness.

As humans, our brain has the natural ability to analyze, think, and figure out things on its own. This means that even if there isn’t something new, the brain will seek out new stimuli and start to think about it, making a new way to check out from reality.

Mindfulness is the way through which you can make your mind settle into the present moment. It makes you able to control your mind rather than letting it control you. 

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is basically a practice of focusing and paying attention to the present moment. In other words, mindfulness makes you focus on and accept your present moment. It has been scientifically proven to increase your overall happiness and reduce stress.

Mindfulness can be practiced through formal meditation and during regular activities as well. For example, if you are eating, put your mobile phone down, turn off the TV, focus on what’s on your plate, smell the aroma of that food, and chew it slowly to know how it tastes. 

Similarly, if you are on a walk, rather than thinking about useless things, focus on the beautiful nature around you and appreciate the sky and the clouds you see that day. You can practice mindfulness like every other activity, including walking, cleaning, cooking, or even sleeping.  

Mindfulness and Your Mental Health

Mindfulness plays an important role in reducing stress and improving mental health. Various research has also shown that people who practice mindfulness are more likely to manage their anxiety, depression, and stress as compared to those who don’t practice.

According to a review of 400 studies (Keng, 2013), mindfulness has been proven to be an effective mental health practice that helps almost all participants improve their physical and psychological health.

In 1979, a mindfulness-based stress reduction program was developed by John Kabat-Zinn, and since then, researchers have explored many benefits of mindfulness:

  1. Reduce Stress & Depression:

Depression and stress have become more common these days. Most of us are battling with depression. And according to a review, only one-quarter of people can find remission after the six-month treatment.

But the good news is that mindfulness has been proven very effective in reducing depression, stress, anxiety, and other mental health-related problems. Various scientific studies have proved the benefit of this practice in relieving symptoms of depression and also preventing those from returning.  

According to a 2018 study review (Hofmann, 2010), regular mindfulness can be very helpful in reducing both anxiety and depression, even when it is not combined with other therapies.

  1. Helps in Identifying and Managing Emotions:

Another amazing benefit of practicing mindfulness is that it will help you identify and manage your feelings. This ability plays an important role in overall mental well-being because people who have difficulties in managing their emotions are linked to a number of mental health conditions, including stress and borderline personality disorder.

Research (Zandi, 2021) has shown that practicing mindfulness regularly can help people manage their emotions and cope with their feelings. 

  1. Improve Memory:

Don’t remember where you put your car keys last time? Did you forget to pick up the packed lunch from the kitchen counter this morning? Most of us face this memory problem on a daily basis.

Mindfulness can be the solution to all these memory problems as it has the potential to increase memory. According to a study conducted in 2019 (Zhang, 2019), the group of participants who were given mindfulness training for four weeks showed great improvement in their memory during memory tests.

Participants didn’t just show improvement in memory, but there were also various effective changes in their brains, including volume changes in their hippocampus and increased production of happy hormones.

  1. Improves Relationship:

Stop waiting for Valentine’s Day or other special occasions to reflect on the relationship you value in life. Whether it is your friend, colleague, or life partner, you can always take some time out to appreciate the love you have in your life.

And you can only do this when you are mindful of that love and care around you. Yes, no matter which relationship you have, mindfulness plays an important role. It helps you to connect with your loved ones, increase communication, and cultivate trust.

When you are mindful and aware of the emotions and feelings of others, you may be able to have more interaction and understanding. According to a 2018 study (Kappen, 2018), people who are mindful are more likely to accept the flaws and mistakes of their partners. Making a relationship healthy and long-lasting.

How Can You Practice Mindfulness

Now that you know all the health benefits and advantages of mindfulness, you must be thinking about how you can start practicing it. Well, there is nothing difficult about it; you can use mindfulness every day without putting in any effort. You can even practice it in one minute. 

Here are some easy mindful practices that you can try anytime, anywhere easily:

Mindful Eating: Mindful eating can help you appreciate and enjoy your food. It can also keep you away from various eating disorders like emotional eating, binge eating, and eating out of boredom. All you have to do is stop and observe the plate in front of you when you eat next time. Pay it full attention, smell it, and eat it slowly. Noticing the texture and taste will enhance it, making it more delicious.

Mindful Breathing: This is a chance for you to step out of the daily grind and be present with yourself. Try to focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale, and notice the time in between; notice your lunges doing the job. And whenever your mind starts to wander, bring your attention back to breathing. 

Mindful Walking: Mindful walking is something you can practice at any time of your day: going to an office, parking your car a bit far and walking a little, taking your dog out on a walk, listening to some good music, doing that while walking in the park. Whenever you are out, walk slowly, give your attention to your feet as they make contact with the ground, and your legs as the muscles move.

Mindful Listening: Take some time out and listen to the environment around you; it will help you bring mindfulness into your life by bringing your awareness around you. Slow down a bit and listen to the sounds around you; when you absorb it and experience its quality, you will see how it will resonate with you.

Final Words

No matter which method of mindfulness you use, all that matters is integrating this awareness practice into your daily routine. If practiced regularly, this practice improves overall well-being and makes you realize how rich and vivid the gift of life is.

If you don’t know where to start, there are a lot of guides, apps, and tools these days which can help you get started. Moreover, you can also consult a therapist about mindfulness treatment options.

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