Mindfulness can improve physical and mental health and has been proven to help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties. Mindfulness is also a powerful tool for depression and anxiety.
HEALTH TIP: Start small by simply focusing on your breath. Take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
We experience lots of different thoughts, feelings, and emotions each day. We worry about the future and regret things from our past. Mindfulness helps calm a wandering mind so we can focus on the present and let go of things we cannot control. Calming our thoughts allows us to be more discerning with our thoughts and put them into perspective so we can appreciate what truly does and does not matter.
MEANING TIP: Try a mindful walk to clear your mind and restore focus. Go for a stroll and leave your headphones at home. Concentrate on the physical sensations of walking including the sights, sounds, and feelings of each step. It is normal for your mind to wander, so when it does, return your focus to your body by repeating “left, right, left, right” as you put one foot in front of the other.
Mindfulness alters the part of the brain responsible for directing attention and focus. This means it can help us notice when we are on autopilot and redirect our attention to what a friend, partner, or coworker is saying or trying to express. This can help us be more caring and present, which makes our relationships happier and more connected.
CONNECTION TIP: Show appreciation to impart mindfulness into your current relationships. When we express sincere and thoughtful appreciation for others, it fosters a deeper connection. Reflect on what you appreciate about a friend, partner, or coworker and share that with them regularly.
Mindfulness breeds resilience! Individuals with higher mindfulness tend to be more resilient and have a higher satisfaction with their life. Researchers have concluded that, “mindful people…can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down (emotionally),” and, “pausing and observing the mind may (help us) resist getting drawn into wallowing in a setback.”
RESILIENCE TIP: Turn towards negative thoughts with acceptance. Once you are aware of a negative thought, notice where you felt it in your body, and what emotion arises with that physical feeling. Sit with the emotion and acknowledge the discomfort you experience. Embrace that you are an objective observer of your own experience.
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