How Practicing Mindfulness Can Transform Your Day to Day
By quieting the constant internal chatter that distances you from the moment and your experience of it, mindfulness has the potential to help you feel more sincerely, think more clearly and act with focus and purpose.
[dropcap type="background"]F[/dropcap]or many the term mindfulness seems vaguely familiar and somehow related to meditative practice, but what mindfulness truly is and why it matters often remains elusive. This is a shame, because mindfulness offers a myriad of benefits for one's mental and emotional well-being. Understanding what it is and learning how to bring the practice into your own life can be truly transformative.
So, what is mindfulness?
When a person is mindful, they're aware of their experiences as they happen without the common inclination to judge those experiences. For example, let's say you're on the first day of diet and during lunch you slip and eat and entire chocolate bar. Being mindful in a situation like this allows you to recognize the feelings of disappointment you might have from breaking your diet on day one, but then stops the common next step of casting judgement (e.g. This is why I can't lose weight. I'm a horrible eater. I'll never be able to break my eating habits).
Mindfulness allows you to be aware of each experience while eliminating the common habit to judge each experience, freeing us to be genuinely present in each moment.
What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
Training yourself to be more mindful has a huge range of positive effects, both for your own internal well-being and sense of self, and for your ability to connect with and understand others.
[dropcap type="background"]1st[/dropcap] Mindfulness helps reduce the negative emotions that often come with challenging experiences. Those who engage in mindfulness practice tend to ruminate less, feel less stress and are less emotionally reactive to the world around them. This has the potential to result in greater relationship satisfaction, decisiveness regarding life choices, and an overall increase in quality of life.
[dropcap type="background"]2nd[/dropcap] Mindfulness allows for improved focus, laying the groundwork for a more immersive experience in your own day-to-day life. This allows you to engage with events and people more deeply.
[dropcap type="background"]3rd[/dropcap] When practiced on a daily basis mindfulness can boost listening skills as well as increase empathy and compassion for others.
Basically, by quieting the constant internal chatter that distances you from the moment and your experience of it, mindfulness has the potential to help you feel more sincerely, think more clearly and act with focus and purpose.
So, now you know what mindfulness is. How do you cultivate it?
Like anything that requires practice to become better, mindfulness is a skill that must be developed and exercised. Mindfulness can be enhanced through activities like yoga or tai chi. However, mindfulness meditation is the most common discipline for improving this important skill. Through mindfulness meditation, you can learn to regulate your thoughts and feelings in order to bring your awareness and attention under control.