Mindfulness is an active state of awareness of thoughts and actions in the moment. It’s an awakened state of emotional detachment from your thoughts. When you can view your thoughts as if you are watching a movie, you create emotional detachment from them and disempower them from creating an emotional charge. The more often we can experience this state the more we allow our mind and body to heal.
Mindfulness is a state of non-judgement and full acceptance of ourselves, letting go of the past and not worrying about the future. When we are “being in the moment” we hold our minds in a state of peace, which can release stresses in the mind and body.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including meditation, yoga. You can also practice mindfulness as part of your daily routine.
Walking – being aware of the sensations of walking, like the quality of the pavement under your feet and how your body feels. Being mindful of what you hear and smell while you are walking helps to keep your mind present. Notice when your mind wanders and, without judgment, come back to awareness of walking.
Taking a shower – Notice how the water feels on your body and the movements of your body as you shower. This can also be a good time to focus on your breath.
Brushing your teeth – Pay attention to all of the sensations, tastes and movements involved. Since we begin and end the day with this task, it can also be an opportunity to set your intention for the day, and in the evening reflect on what you are grateful for in your experience of the day.
Several studies suggest that the practice of mindfulness leads to decreases in stress and anxiety, improvements in concentration and attention, and increases in self-awareness and overall emotional well-being. Mindfulness is often used as one aspect of treatment for issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, binge eating disorder, chronic pain and cancer. Practicing mindfulness meditation for brief periods, just 5 or 10 minutes a day, can noticeably improve your health.