Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally focusing your attention on the present moment. “The cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, but most religions include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life.”
Practicing mindfulness can improve:
- supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life
- makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events
- reduces likelihood of getting caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past and preoccupation with concerns about success and self-esteem
- helps relieve stress
- treats heart disease
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces chronic pain
- improves sleep
- alleviates gastrointestinal difficulties
Mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including:
- substance abuse
- eating disorders
- couples’ conflicts
- anxiety disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
Mindfulness techniques include sitting quietly while focusing on your natural breathing, subtle body sensations, sensory stimuli such as sounds or smells, emotions, and coping with cravings.
Taken from helpguide.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness
Mindfulness is living here and now. This can free you from becoming entangled in thoughts of your past or from worrying about the future.When your mind keeps running away from you, practice staying in the moment with mindfulness exercises:
Exercise 1: One Minute of Mindfulness
This is a mindfulness exercise you can do anytime throughout the day. Take a moment right now to try this. Check your watch and note the time. For the next 60 seconds your task is to focus all your attention on your breathing. It’s just for one minute, but it can seem like an eternity. Leave your eyes open and breathe normally. Be ready to catch your mind from wandering off (because it will) and return your attention to your breath whenever it does so.
This mindfulness exercise is far more powerful than most people give it credit for. It takes some people many years of practice before they are able to complete a single minute of alert, clear attention.
Keep in mind that this mindfulness exercise is not a contest or a personal challenge. You can’t fail at this exercise, you can only experience it.
Use this exercise many times throughout the day to restore your mind to the present moment and to restore your mind to clarity and peace.
Over time, you can gradually extend the duration of this exercise into longer and longer periods. This exercise is actually the foundation of a correct mindfulness meditation technique.
You can also use a mindfulness bell to focus your attention on, instead of your breathing. If you have struggled with mantra meditations or breathing meditation techniques in the past, then a mindfulness bell recording can really help you to focus your attention in the present moment and achieve a state of mental stillness.