If you’ve spent any time researching personal development, productivity or how to live the best life, then you’ve definitely seen the word “mindfulness” pop up once or twice.
But what is mindfulness? Why should you be practicing it? And how do you even get started?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is, essentially, the practice of focusing your awareness in the present moment. Think of it as “paying attention on purpose”.
So many of us have the experience of living life on autopilot. We go through the day without truly experiencing it. How many times have you taken a few chips out of a bag, only to look down a few minutes later and realize the entire bag was gone? Or gotten in the car to drive home from work, and then realized suddenly you were there, without any awareness of how you’d gotten from point A to point B?
Mindfulness is about bringing your attention and awareness to the current moment and experiencing everything that it has to offer – the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the bodily sensations, the thoughts, the feelings. Again, “paying attention on purpose”.
So if you’re eating a bag of chips, it’s eating them purposefully: being consciously aware of how the chips taste, of the sensations they cause on your tongue, of the way they make your body feel.
Going a bit deeper, mindfulness is also about staying present in your emotional experience. Our minds tend to fluctuate between ruminating over the past and feeling anxious about the future.
When you’re not stuck in the past or worrying about the future, it frees you up to enjoy the present and appreciate the happiness in each moment. A mindfulness practice helps train your brain to stay in the present and let go of the past and future back-and-forth, which ultimately helps you embrace the joy in every moment.
Why Should You Practice Mindfulness?
We could go on for days on the benefits to cultivating a mindfulness practice. But to save you some time, here are some of the major benefits you’ll enjoy from practicing mindfulness:
- Lower stress levels
- Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Increased feelings of happiness
- Increased sense of well-being
- Higher levels of self awareness
- Increased feelings of connectedness
- Increased memory and focus
- Less emotional reactivity
- Increased self-awareness
- Improved immune system
How Do I Get Started With A Mindfulness Practice?
We know that getting started with mindfulness might seem a bit overwhelming, so we wanted to make it as easy for you as possible. That’s why I created the 7 Days of Mindfulness Challenge.
The 7 Days of Mindfulness Challenge is a week-long entry point to mindfulness. It will help you start to integrate mindfulness into your daily routine and begin to practice “paying attention on purpose”. This will also help you identify and appreciate the positive things in your life, as well as create new opportunities for cultivating joy.
The 7 Days of Mindfulness Challenge will give you the framework that you need to start bringing mindfulness practices into your life. To get started, all you need to do is download the worksheet (link below).