Where is your mind at? Are you living in the past? Or are you living somewhere in the far future? Research published in the Association of Psychological Sciences have shown in there studies that mindfulness when practiced has tremendous benefits on the mind and body.
These are some physical benefits that mindfulness has been shown to alleviate. Such as, helping relieve stress,treating heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep, alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties, relief of various cancers with more and more studies revealing the effects on the body.
Just in recent years psychotherapists have turned to mindful meditation as a way to treat various mental conditions. Conditions like depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Now you may be asking yourself what is mindfulness? Psychology today defines mindfulness as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, living in the moment and awakening to experience.
If you would like to dive into a mindfulness exercise please try this technique expounded on by Christopher k. Germer in his article “Teaching Mindfulness in therapy.”
1. Awareness- Bring yourself into the present moment by deliberately adopting an erect and dignified posture, if possible close your eyes. Then ask what is my experience right now… in thoughts… in feeling… and in bodily sensations?
2. Gathering- Then, gently redirect full attention to breathing to each inhalation and exhalation and to each as they follow, one after the other. Your breathing can function as an anchor to bring you into the present and help you tune into a state of awareness and stillness.
3.Expanding- Expand the field of your awareness around your breathing, so that it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture, and facial expression. All it takes is three minutes a day to do this.
Mindfulness may be a new trend that is starting to take popularity in our modern age. But mindfulness goes back to the practice of the ancients. This excerpt is from the song of songs written by King Solomon dated back to 930 B.C., which proves that the ancients practiced mindfulness.
“For now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.”
Maybe it would be a good idea to focus on a task at hand. (So one way to practice on mindfulness is to be present in everything you are doing. When you are at work be at work, when you are at home be present at home. Don’t bring you problems from work at home and vice versa.) When you’re driving to work, take in all the scenery, take a media break, or an electronic fast.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. It’s important to do it because meditation trains your mind. It trains your mind to relax, to focus, and to clear your head. So when you’re caught up in a whirlwind of stress and anxiety, just take three minutes of your day to practice mindfulness. You will be surprised how much you can accomplish, by giving your brain a break!