"Few of us ever live in the present, We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone" by Louis L 'Amour. Mindfulness is not a new practice, but it is a practice that is good for the heart and soul. To be mindful is the art of tuning into yourself and excluding the outside world. Most people find it difficult to be mindful because we are living in digital age, where there is constant overload of media exposure. However, the practice of being mindful can help reduce many of the everyday stressors and social anxiety that people encounter. Mindfulness not only helps with anxiety it also helps you with increased attention and focus. If you practice mindfulness you can become more self-reflective and in-tune with the happenings of the present moment.
When we focus on the present moment it eliminates the worries about what happened on yesterday and thinking about future problems or concerns. A perfect example is when you ask a person what is the first thing on their mind and they can't explain it. The reason they can't explain what is on their mind is because of the constant overload of different things going on in their life. When mindfulness is practiced, it is a learned coping mechanism for dealing with both stress, anxiety and depression. One way to get centered is to start reflecting on how you view the world. Getting to a quiet place for reflection is the beginning practice of learning how to be more mindful. What are some benefits of being more mindful:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Improved Focus and Concentration
Helps you how to slow down
Improves your resiliency
Increases your coping skills
Here are some examples of how to be more mindful:
When you go to a new location be aware of what is happening around you: the sights, smells, how people are responding to each other, the colors, and the aesthetics. Staying present means when you are with people you are paying attention to them and not your phone. In many social situations people are just consumed with their cell phones and can't really describe what is going on. Practice being more attentive to the here and now and enjoying the moment.
One effective practice that includes mindfulness is yoga. When you take yoga you learn breathing and stretching exercises that help you to relax. When you learn how to breathe deeply it increases the level of oxygen in your brain stimulating positive endorphins. The practice of yoga is about learning how to calm yourself, relax and transcend into a meditative state of being.
Listen to calming music. Music is a universal language that everyone can enjoy. Listen to your favorite genre or try something different if you are a younger person like my own children. Listen to jazz, fusion, classical or any type of music that you find comforting. I personally believe that listening to instrumental is better because then you are free to listen to your breathe and clear your thoughts without the lyrics invading them.
If you want to learn more seek a qualified mental health practioner who can help you learn strategies to relax and move forward in life.