Mindfulness has become a buzzword nowadays. You hear about it all the time—whether it’s being taught in high school classrooms or advised by yoga instructors. Because of its growing popularity in the last few years, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly:
But studies continue to show that those who practice mindfulness achieve better physical health and more rewarding relationships. Read on to find out what all the hype is about.
Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn streamlined some Buddhist thinking into what is called the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
Kabat-Zinn explains that mindfulness is a means of paying attention to what you’re thinking about. Not necessarily working to change negative thoughts and emotions, but instead recognizing that negativity and letting your mind and body process it as it is. It’s a way of becoming in tune with your mind and body in a non-judgemental way and—as cliche as it sounds—living in the now, while being curious and accepting of yourself and your environment.
Your mental image of being mindful probably includes focused meditation, but it can be and often is more than that. Kabat-Zinn offers some ways you can be mindful daily:
If you’re interested in something more organized and focused, you can try what’s called the raisin exercise. This means holding a raisin in your hand, and using your five senses to notice its presence. How does it feel when you rub the raisin between your thumb and forefinger? What does it smell like? Try eating it, and noticing how the raising goes down your throat.
Studies have proven mindfulness benefits the mind and body in many ways, including but not limited to:
By becoming more mindful throughout the day, you can become more aware of your own feelings as well as the feelings of those you care about. GRW’s certified counselors can guide you in your mindfulness practice, as well as better your mental health in other ways.
How do you practice mindfulness? How has it helped your mental health? Let us know in the comments below!