Mindfulness is something that can sound very mystic and out there to most people. Most people fear they won’t have enough time for it and that it won’t produce the outcome that they may want. You may think it is all about meditation and how to find out more about yourself. There are several things you should know about mindfulness before you toss it out the door as something that isn't for you. Here at New Leaf Counseling, we decided to release a four-part series on mindfulness, what it is, how it can help you personally and help those around you, in addition to how you can teach mindfulness to your kids! To start, we have listed a few key points regarding mindfulness.
Mindfulness Helps Focus
One of the critical benefits of mindfulness is how it can help with focus. By working through the stages of mindfulness and learning different techniques, such as breathing, you can train your brain to focus on certain stages or aspects of your life. Mindfulness is about being present with and aware of what you are experiencing.
From sights, sounds, smells, thought and emotions, mindfulness is an opportunity to pay attention to the world around you and how you are experiencing it.
When you get in the practice of being present with your experiences, you hone in on your ability to focus and therefore be with the task at hand. For example, instead of focusing on all of your jobs for the day or the week, your friends' issues, family's to-do list, and everything else going on, you can train your mind to focus on the task at hand and be present in that task. In turn, this allows you to get the job done quickly and easily, making room for the next thing on your list.
Mindfulness Helps Stress
Many issues can trigger stress. One of the main problems is having too much on our task list and not enough time to focus on each item to see them through. Other stressful aspects can come from the outside influences of others including, friend’s or family's issues and problems that are outside of your control, the latest gossip in a community, or an unexpected conflict.
Mindfulness gives you the ability to move through an issue with clarity, rather than giving into an immediate reaction that could cause more harm than good.
It focuses on the issue at hand and helps you decide what you need to take on and what is not your responsibility or burden to bear. An example of mindfulness helping a stressful situation would be, accepting that you can be there to support your friends without allowing their issues to become your issues, which can lead to more stress and not be helpful for anyone.
Mindfulness is a Routine
Mindfulness is not a one-time event, and it helps you handle events and aspects of your daily life to feel happier and less burdened. Therefore, it takes time, practice and commitment. Mindfulness is not a quick fix or bandage for your issues. It is a routine that you incorporate into your life. We know this can sound daunting, but the long term benefits (minimized stress, ease in transition, and a lifted weight from responsibilities that aren't yours) of sticking with this are worth it. By practicing a part of mindfulness each day, you will slowly be able to add more practices until it just becomes a part of your daily routine.
We hope this brief overview of mindfulness was helpful and showed you some ways that it can help you with focus and relieve stresses in your daily life. Consider these points as a way to start practicing mindfulness, and you will begin to experience the benefits of adding mindfulness to your daily routine. Stay tuned, as we will be releasing some more specific posts on additional ways to practice mindfulness!