Most of us have been coming across the term “Mindfulness” recently, we must also be wondering why it’s such a trending topic and what is in fact mindfulness. We probably did not bother delving deep into the concept and aspect of it but you’ll be surprised how important and beneficial practising mindfulness can be in our daily lives.
Mindfulness is the act of consciously focusing on the present moment, without judgement or attachment. It is slightly similar to the concept of radical acceptance where we learn to accept things just as they are without anger and resentment, and we eventually stop fighting the way we feel about certain aspects or situations in our lives. When we are mindful, we are awake and alert, we are open to the fluidity of each moment as it arises and falls away.
All human beings have a tendency to divert their thoughts or the way they perceive things in accordance with their past, their future, their worries, etc. It’s almost like we are focusing on everything except the present moment itself.
Now, there is a simple reason why most of us struggle with accepting the reality and why we find it so difficult – most of us have a tendency to keep our eyes closed towards what is happening in the moment. When we confront individuals with this statement, they’ll wonder and think to themselves “but I keep my eyes open all the time”, this is false. To accept what is happening to us, we need to know what is happening to us in the here-and-now and that is exactly what mindfulness focuses on. It is the practice of directing our attention towards one single thing, and that one thing is the precise moment in which we are alive – the very moment we are in.
Why is Mindfulness a trending topic?
Now, having understood what Mindfulness means, it’s easier to identify why it could be so relevant in all our lives right now. We all think about our past experiences and future prospects more than anything else, which is one of the reasons we struggle with consistent anxious feelings as well as immense amounts of over-thinking which increases our anxious feelings. We focus on what could have been, what is going to happen etc. but do we focus on what is happening right now? The things which are in our control right now? Imagine if our thoughts were just diverted towards the present moment and towards the things we could control, it would be a less stressful and much happier world.
Also, being amidst a pandemic – worrying about our future, we are consumed with negative thoughts and emotions, we are consumed with the thoughts of the aspects of our lives which are not in our control eventually leading to a great downfall in all of our mental and emotional well-being.
This is where the practice of mindfulness steps in – it is important for each individual to be aware of this practice, to not only practice it in difficult situations but every day regardless, mindfulness in itself is an extremely powerful technique and eventually becomes a way of life leading to a more fulfilling and healthy lifestyle as well. It gives us the strength to bear the suffering of our lives which is also in that moment – it is not a place where we get to, it’s a place in which we already are.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
- Lower Stress Levels – When we simply begin to focus on the present moment and stop contemplating over our past experiences and future possibilities which are the main causes and reasons for us experiencing stress – we will automatically begin to feel more in control of ourselves as well as a sense of joy and acceptance within ourselves.
- Mindfulness improves well-being – Being mindful makes it easier to appreciate the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past as well as being less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem.
- Mindfulness improves physical health – Mindfulness is extremely beneficial in terms of physical health as well – it helps relieve stress, treats heart disease, lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain and helps one develop better sleep patterns with fewer disruptions and disturbances.
- Mindfulness improves mental health – Mindfulness meditation is used as an important element in the treatment of several psychological disorders including depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Acceptance – The main component of mindfulness is acceptance. Acceptance is the path towards change, it’s the path that leads us to stop fighting our feelings, stop fighting the failures and difficulties in our lives and to accept the way our lives are and move on. It leads us to focus on the positive which eventually drastically improves the way we see the world and our emotional well-being.
To conclude, it is imperative to state that mindfulness is a gift, it’s a tool, it’s a technique which can help us overcome the most difficult situations in our lives – it’s an aspect of growth and hope which leads us to be more resilient, courageous and develop a balance between thinking rationally as well as thinking emotionally – to focus on the aspects of our lives which we can control without focusing on just the extremes.
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