Mindfulness Practice Exercises
For people looking to improve their focus, well-being, or outlook, mindfulness practice exercises can help.
A staple in many cultures around the world, mindfulness practice exercises help you re-frame the way you see the world, your experiences with other people, and yourself. Ideal for anyone who wants to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing, this is one health tip that’s too important to miss.
Here’s what you need to know.
What are Mindfulness Practice Exercises?
Today, most people seldom do one thing at a time. Think about it: we exercise while listening to music or podcasts, clean the house while watching television, eat while driving or having a meeting, and fall asleep scanning our Facebook feeds.
While all this multi-tasking might not seem like a huge issue, it can cause us to lose our connections with the present moment, and become ever more addicted to stimulus, input, and distraction.
Over time, these tendencies also change the way we cope with stress and anxiety and influence the way we interact with the world around us.
This is where mindfulness practice exercises come in. Designed to help you purposely place your attention on the present moment, mindfulness helps you learn to accept things without judgment.
An ancient practice with a long history in Hindu and Buddhist cultures, mindfulness practice exercises have become a common practice in recent years and has even been studied scientifically, which has revealed that it’s a central component in happiness.
The History of Mindfulness
Mindfulness got its start in Buddhist traditions, although it’s worth mentioning that many such cultures around the world have mindfulness practices that contribute to their meditation or prayer techniques.
These mindfulness practices allow users to shift their thoughts from incoming distractions like noise, physical discomfort, external stimuli, and more, and focus them, instead, on the present moment.
In the modern world, mindfulness practice exercises owe their increasing popularity to a professor named Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is the founder of a Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Through his research, Dr. Kabat-Zinn proved that mindfulness could improve a person’s health, contribute to overall well-being, and create positive shifts in both attitude and behavior.
The Top 10 Benefits of Mindfulness
For beginners and experienced mindfulness practitioners alike, these benefits are commonplace:
Mindfulness relieves the sensation of physical pain
In April of 2011, The Journal of Neuroscience published a study. The study found that people who practiced mindfulness meditation for 80 minutes each day could cut their experience of pain by 50%. Especially useful for people who suffer chronic pain in the back, neck, or body, mindfulness relieves the sensation of pain and improves a person’s pain threshold all at once.
Mindfulness boosts libido
Distraction is one of the biggest reasons for dips in libido, and mindfulness has been shown to improve this and bring a person’s focus to the present moment. What’s more, mindfulness can decrease self-judgmental behavior and increase libido and intimate enjoyment.
Mindfulness can make tough decisions easier
People who practice mindfulness practice exercises have an easier time making big decisions than their counterparts. This is because mindfulness boosts the brain’s levels of gyrification, or the folds housed in the brain’s cortex region.
These folds make processing information more expedient and help decrease a person’s tendency to dwell in the past, which can contribute to unhappiness and longing.
Mindfulness meditation improves focus
Have a tough time focusing at work? Mindfulness practice exercises can help. In 2008, PLOS ONE journal published a study that proved people who practice Zen meditation and other mindfulness exercises experienced fewer outbursts of interruptive thoughts.
Mindfulness can enhance empathy
For people struggling to be more empathetic in daily life, mindfulness practice exercises could be the answer. According to a study published in Science Daily in 2013 and conducted by the Northeastern University College of Science, mindfulness exercises can make people as much as 50% more compassionate. How’s that for a practical approach to being a better person?
Mindfulness makes people happier
Multiple studies have shown that consistent mindfulness practices make people happier, more centered, and more consistent in their emotions. Possibly one of the largest benefits of mindfulness meditation, these simple systems can have a dramatic impact on your everyday outlook.
Mindfulness makes you more resilient
Having a tough time bouncing back from unfortunate situations? Mindfulness can make you more resilient. By boosting the level of activity in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, meditation can make people more flexible and strong in the face of setbacks while boosting their overall wellbeing.
Mindfulness practice exercise help prevent dementia
One of the best ways to protect yourself from dementia and age-related cognitive decline, mindfulness keeps the brain active and helps delay the onset or reduce the severity of cognitive impairment.
Mindfulness helps you feel like you belong
For people struggling to feel less lonely, mindfulness can offer a great answer. According to a Carnegie Mellon University study, adults who meditated for thirty minutes each day for just over a month slashed their feelings of isolation and loneliness significantly. Mindfulness can be a fantastic tool for anyone struggling to adjust or feel like they belong.
Mindfulness can make you more creative
For people in creative fields, or those looking to enhance their creativity, mindfulness is a powerful tool. Because it stimulates increased action in the brain and keeps things lubricated and active, meditation can make coming up with new ideas and bringing them to fruition easier and more enjoyable.
How to Do Mindfulness Practice Exercises in Your Life
Want to bring mindfulness practice exercises into your day-to-day? Here are a few simple tricks to get you started:
- Set aside 10 minutes each day. If you have ten minutes to yourself, sit in a quiet, comfortable place, and clear away distractions. Be sure to put your phone on silent and turn off the push notifications on your computer, if it’s near. Once you’ve done that, close your eyes and focus on the feeling of your breath entering your nose and leaving your lips. Breathe slowly and deeply, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Every time your thoughts wander, bring them gently back to the feeling of your breath.
- Practice walking meditation.Walking meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation that gets you up and outside. To practice this, head out on your favorite trail and focus on the feeling of your feet hitting the ground, pay attention to the way your weight shifts as you move and how your feet feel as they take off from and land on the ground. Keep your breath slow and steady and focus on the feeling of your body as you move through space.
- Use an app.Apps like Headspace are making it easy to bring daily mindfulness practice exercises into your life. Featuring simple, 10-minute meditations or longer guided meditations for “emergency” emotional situations, this app makes practicing mindfulness easier than it’s ever been.
Daily Mindfulness Practice Exercises Made Simple
Whether you’re looking to feel calmer and happier or improve your focus and functionality, these simple daily mindfulness practice exercises are ideal for you and will improve and enhance your life across the board.