The Oxford English Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” Although many people consider mindfulness to be a form of meditation, Positive Psychology explains mindfulness as “a quality; mediation is a practice…mindfulness describes a specific way of living that can be cultivated through practice.” There have been studies that indicate that the tranquility effects of practicing mindfulness can be directly correlated to a reduction in one’s stress levels, which can subsequently have a positive effect on one’s immune system. Regularly practicing mindfulness can result in an individual lowering his or her blood pressure, can help to improve one’s heart rate, and can even help to improve one’s breathing. The purpose of practicing mindfulness techniques is to increase one’s ability to regulate emotions, which can help prevent, reduce, manage, and even become more resilient towards unwanted feelings.
Easy Mindfulness Techniques
The Mayo Clinic explains that the practice of mindfulness involves focusing on “being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment without interpretation or judgment.” Meditation is one way to practice mindfulness, but for those that are too busy to carve out time to meditate, there are many other mindfulness strategies that can be easily implemented into your daily life. To help get you started on your mindfulness journey consider the following tips:
- Do one thing at a time: instead of attempting to multitask, try tackling one thing at a time. This can allow you to dedicate your undivided attention to completing each task accurately and efficiently.
- Observe your breathing: take a few minutes each day to cast your wandering thoughts aside and focus only on your breathing.
- Take regular mini breaks throughout your day: use these breaks to do a quick body check and see where you may be feeling tension, exhaustion, or any unwanted feelings. Add your focused breathing to your breaktime to release and let go of anything that you do not want in your mental, emotional, and/ or physical body and reenergize.
- Take a walk: take an intentional walk where you focus on how your body feels outdoors, notice the movements of your legs and areas of your body that must be engaged to continue your walk, pay attention to the lifting and falling of your feet, to the pace of your stride, etc.
Even if your schedule does not allow time for you to meditate, it is important to take time to check in with yourself and make sure you are appreciating where you are in the present moment, which is exactly what practicing mindfulness techniques helps you accomplish.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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