“Mindfulness” might be a buzzword these days- But for good reason! The short definition of mindfulness is being conscious or aware of the moment. Practicing mindfulness can help you get in tune with your body and give you the ability to regulate your emotions. Through this practice, you will see a reduction in stress, anxiety, and overall better mental health!
According to Doctor Jon Kabat Zinn, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” He explains, mindfulness is not a technique, it’s a state of being. Doctor Kabat-Zinn is a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical school and founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and society.
Doctor Kabat Zinn points out that if you check in with yourself throughout the day your mind is rarely in the present moment. Instead, we are thinking about the future or the past.
You might think mindfulness is only for meditation, but that isn’t true. Being mindful should be practiced throughout the day as much as possible. Naturally, we worry about the future and dwell on the past, but by practicing mindfulness we fully appreciate the current moment.
It boils down to paying attention to the current state of mind and body. It is not something you need to practice or go to a class and learn how to do. We all can be mindful. As mentioned, mindfulness and meditation are not the same. They do have overlapping qualities and can be practiced together, but they are not interchangeable.
Meditation is a skill. Meditation is another word that pops up often in the mental health space for its many benefits. There are tons of ways to practice meditation, and apps like Headspace and Mooditude provide helpful tools for guided and unguided meditations.
You can bring meditation into your meditation practice by sitting for your meditation practice and bringing your attention to your body, breathing, and thoughts.
Unlike meditation, mindfulness is not a skill. Practicing mindfulness is beneficial in everyday life to fully accept and enjoy each moment. If you choose to start practicing mindfulness throughout the day, you will not subconsciously go through the motions of life but will be more aware and taking notice of your feelings and emotions.
Mindfulness allows us to connect to the present moment. The present moment is when we can love, touch, taste, and experience life. Giving yourself to the present moment will decrease your worry and stress by focusing on the “now.”
Mindfulness is proven to be positively associated with psychological health and positive effects. Furthermore, research is promising in finding more positive psychological outcomes through practicing mindfulness. Harvard research attests to findings of improved anxiety, chronic pain, and anxiety from mindfulness as well.
The American Psychological Association shares the empirically supported benefits of mindfulness to be: Reduced rumination, stress reduction, boosts to working memory, focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, relationship satisfaction, and more!
Studies for the effect of mindfulness are at an all-time high. Experts want to learn just how and why mindfulness has such a positive impact on patients.
It is simple for you to get started today with mindfulness. You have the capability, you just need to start. Wake up in the morning and focus on each action you make. Instead of mindlessly going through your morning routine, feel the water in your mouth as you brush your teeth, recognize the ground beneath your feet, notice your breathing.
Need an accountability partner? The Mooditude app is here for you to help, remind you, and track your mindfulness journey!