Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings we are experiencing.
In recent years, mental health charities have conducted surveys that indicate over 70% of the population has suffered from stress levels that are so overwhelming they have harmed their lives.
At first, it may seem counterproductive for people with mental health worries and high levels of stress to become more attuned with their thoughts and feelings. Still, research has shown that mindfulness has the opposite effect on those who have taken the time to train in mindfulness ways.
To fully master true mindfulness, it does take time and practice to achieve the ultimate state. True mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of what is going on inside and outside of yourself at any given moment. It allows you fully appreciate the moment you are in and clears your mind of other things except what is currently happening. Being able to do this has been proven to lower stress levels.
How to Practise Mindfulness
Many people feel the benefit of taking mindfulness courses online to help them fully understand what mindfulness is and how best to achieve it.
You can be more mindful in your everyday life by paying attention to how you feel, what makes you feel this way and what you are experiencing. From savouring the food you eat and drink, you consume to breathe in the air around you and feel how the world is interacting with you from the air to the weather and how your immediate surroundings make you feel.
Appreciating the small things in your life can help you focus on the positives. No matter how small the positives are, many small positive interactions can have a bigger effect on your mood, stress levels and mental health.
Keep It Regular
Make sure to choose a time when you stop and take stock of everything in your life. Be it taking 10 minutes after the school run when you arrive home from work in the evening or as you relax and unwind before bed.
Making it a regular habit at a set time can help you become more aware and relaxed as you remind yourself of the good in the here and now and take a moment to appreciate this.
Your Feelings and Thoughts
For many people, the simple act of stopping can lead to their mind being filled with thoughts and brings a rush of feelings to the surface. Others may be able to clear their mind completely and truly focus.
If you find you are being flooded with thoughts, it may be helpful to identify them and how they make you feel. This way, you can pinpoint your feelings and identify any triggers for anxiety or stress or the relationships between your feelings and certain behaviour patterns you may exhibit.
Identifying them and allowing them to pass by and leave your mind is perfectly fine, and you do not need to retain anything that is distracting you from taking in the here and now.