What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been defined as a mental state achieved by focusing awareness in the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations as they arise. Originally a Buddhist meditative practice, it is now often applied as a therapeutic technique to promote greater self-awareness and emotional regulation.

Mindfulness is being present and aware. When you are mindful, you are aware of yourself and your surroundings and you are able to own your thoughts and feelings. When employees are stressed at work, they experience emotions like anger, sadness, and feeling out of control. By practicing mindfulness, employees can disrupt the negative emotional cycle that can result. They can recognise negative emotions, understand them, and productively address them. Mindfulness does not eliminate stress, but it helps employees manage stress by thinking in healthier, less stressful, ways.

What is a good example of mindfulness?

Some pay find it hard to take the time to practice daily mindfulness. These are our top three favourite exercises that you do can anywhere and take anywhere with you.

1. Mindful Breathing

This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down. Start by breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for approximately 6 seconds. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Purposefully watch your breath and focus on your sense of awareness.

2. Mindful Observation

The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time. Visually explore every aspect of its formation. Allow yourself to connect with its energy.

3. Mindful Appreciation

In this exercise, you must notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated. These things can be objects or people. This exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life. Once you have identified your 5 things, make it your duty to find out everything you can about their creation and purpose to truly appreciate the way in which they support your life.

What are the benefits of mindfulness practice?

In a large-scale review of more than 400 previous studies, mindfulness was identified as an effective mental health practice for helping almost all people improve their physical and psychological wellbeing. Test out a few practices to see what one suits you best and your lifestyle.

The following are the many benefits of mindfulness practice;

1. Reduced stress and anxiety

Being mindful means having your mind on what you are doing. It’s the opposite of rushing or doing too many things at once. When you feel calm, take your time, and have your mind on what you’re doing, it’s easier to get things done and do your best.

Allowing yourself a few minutes to pause, breathe and be aware of your surroundings, allows your body to lower stress levels. Practicing mindfulness calms your mind and body. When you feel calm and take your time going through tasks, it’s easier to get them done and doesn’t cause heightened stress or anxiety in your body to occur.

2. Improves physical health

Research also suggests that mindfulness can help relieve symptoms of a range of different health conditions. Mindfulness practices have been linked to improvements in lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Type 2 diabetes, and fibromyalgia.

 3. Improves memory

Mindfulness also contributes to boosting an individual’s memory. A recent study found that mindfulness training boosts the density of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a key role in both working and long-term memory.

The relationship between hippocampus size and working memory in healthy adults is important because working memory is closely tied to many other cognitive processes such as reasoning, language comprehension, and problem-solving. The ability to reduce proactive interference with mindfulness meditation could improve all of those vital brain functions.

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