In a society full of stressed out, overworked and underpaid individuals – “mindfulness” seems to be a popular buzzword amongst everyone. And rightfully so, as it has changed many people’s lives for the better, providing them with a new outlook on life and the ability to practice gratitude. I’ve been practicing mindfulness for quite some time now and I have to say it is one of the biggest contributors to healing both my depression and anxiety as well as pushing me to be a better version of myself. Here are some of the positives I have experienced from this journey:
Mindfulness provides clarity.
By taking the time to be more present and mindful in the moment, I was able to detach myself from stressful situations and look at them with a new point of view. After sitting down and allowing my brain to relax – it seemed as though I was able to look at these situations more realistically and solve them more quickly.
Mindfulness shifts perspective.
As mentioned above, being mindful has helped shift my perspective into a new light. When I was younger, going through depression and anxiety, I seemed to always be dwelling on the negative and playing the victim card – even with myself. Everything was “woe is me” and I always made excuses to not eat healthy, to not try new foods, to not exercise. Once I discovered mindfulness I started to see the positives in things. I started to see that everything is happening for a reason and that I should be grateful for the good things in my life rather than constantly stress over the bad. Once I started this my entire world changed for the better. I began experimenting with foods, exercising daily and had a stronger hold over my emotions.
Mindfulness reduces stress levels.
We have created a fast-paced, 126 character world where everything is just a touch away. I have checked my email, checked my social media platforms and texted someone before I have even gotten out of bed. With such bad habits and the inability to do one thing at a time – stress levels can get very high, very quickly. Once I gave myself time to slow down my thoughts, relax my mind and evaluate things in my life, I noticed that my stress levels instantly reduced.
Mindfulness provides the opportunity to practice gratitude.
It’s not all the time you stand in the middle of your house and think about what it would be like without a roof over your head. And I’m sure it isn’t frequent that you open the fridge and stare in disbelief at the abundance of food you have the opportunity to choose from. Our world is built on a mindset of instant-gratification and always wanting more. With these two factors part of our daily lives, it’s difficult to find the time to be grateful for the little things in life. Practicing mindfulness allowed me to come home from a bad day and reflect on the positive things that happened, allowing me to get a good night’s rest and set my mind up for a better tomorrow.
The easiest way to start being more mindful is to start and end your day with gratitude. Reflect on what people or things you are grateful for in your life once you wake, then reflect on the positives of your day before you go to sleep. It’s that easy. I use The Five Minute Journal to do this, but you don’t have to. You can easily go over them in your head and take a moment to feel really positive about your life.
A few other ways to practice mindfulness is through meditation (both regular and guided), yoga or tai chi.
Best of luck on your mindful journey!