If you follow current trends you've probably already heard of it and if you haven't then chances are, you've already practiced it before! Mindfulness can be simple and very impactful on your day to day life.
Why Is It Important?
So, the question, why does mindfulness matter? It can help us be present in the moment, to be fully engaged in our surroundings, whether that is with family or friends, at work or out walking the dog. Wherever the location, practicing mindfulness can allow us to take a moment to pay attention to what really matters - right now - instead of the millions of other thoughts that float around in our head. It is normal for our minds to take flight, leading us to fret about our mounting to-do lists, insecurities, resentments or disappointments in life. When we are actively using mindfulness we can bring ourselves back to the present in an instant, where those negative thoughts can't reach us.
Let The Research Do The Talking...
There are many exciting things about mindfulness; it's easy to do, anyone can do it, it only takes moments, and there is scientific evidence that backs up the benefits this can have when used daily. According to mindful.org, researchers have shown that individuals who practice mindful meditation have more activity in parts of the brain that help with decision-making and managing stressors. And our professionals in education are also taking note on the power of mindfulness! This skill is being taught to more children in elementary and high schools around the country, teaching and allowing our children to practice the skill that can help manage anxiety and stress while helping to increase academic performance and enhancing social skills. Greater Good Science Center has put together a handy document on how mindfulness has been shown to be useful in education.
So How Do You Do It?
So remember how I said earlier that anyone could do mindfulness? I meant it, really! Just take a few minutes in your day and focus on your present surroundings; check in with your body, how are you feeling? What do you see? What do you hear? Observe what you smell. Identify 5 blue items in your surroundings. Focus on whatever your senses show you in the present moment. Pay attention to your breathing; calm, deep and slow. And don't worry, it is totally natural for your mind to wander during these moments, so don't be hard on yourself! Just notice when your mind has wandered without judgment and gently return your focus towards the present moment and your breath.
So go ahead and take a moment to practice mindfulness. Let us know how it goes!