Practicing mindfulness just might be the most powerful tool we have at our disposal for creating a healthy, happy life.
It’s been shown to promote improvements across practically all aspects of physical, mental, and emotional health.
Mindfulness is focusing on the moment – the here and now – with curiosity and compassion, without judgement (1).
As you might assume, mindfulness has demonstrated positive effect on mental health-related quality of life, including managing anxiety, depression, pain, and stress/distress (2).
Yet mindfulness benefits not only the mind.
After all, what good is knowing what to do if you don’t actually do it consistently?
Some popular ways for practicing mindfulness are (16):
- Paying attention to bodily sensations (a “body scan”)
- Focusing on breathing, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
- Tuning in to feelings and observations while walking, standing, or yoga, or even brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or eating.
- Practicing separation from thoughts (“thoughts are not facts” or “I am not my thoughts”)
Practicing mindfulness even for only a few minutes a day, consistently, can help you develop the habit and reap the rewards (17).
Start where you are.
Do what you can.
You’ve got this.