Mindfulness is a powerful tool for mental and emotional clarity. I’ve found it has huge benefits for my clients. It helps them perform at their highest level in work as well as find relief from anxiety, worry, and imposter syndrome.
Don’t just take my word for it, there is tons of research supporting the power of mindfulness including benefits for cognitive performance, concentration, anxiety, mood, chronic pain, and a range of physical health benefits. Mindfulness can sound like a big undertaking, but actually just practicing a few minutes a day can make a big impact on your life and health.
It’s a simple concept really, mindfulness is just the idea of giving focused attention to the present moment. We spend so much time worrying about things that will happen or will go wrong in the future. Or beating ourselves up for things we’ve done in the past. Both of which tend to make us not feel great. Yet when we can pause and just be present in this moment we can find a surprising level of contentment.
John Kabat-Zinn, one of the major writers and researchers in the West on mindfulness, defines it as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.
There are two major ways to practice this “paying attention to the present moment” thing:
- Formal Mindfulness Meditation
- Informal Mindfulness Exercises
Formal mindfulness meditations are specific meditation practices that help you focus on the present moment with acceptance of your experience. It is not a spiritual or religious form of meditation. Most begin by focusing on your breath as your homebase. Many will bring in awareness of your body sensations or emotions. I encourage everyone to try to practice simple exercises like this just 3 – 5 minutes to begin to train your brain to focus on one thing a time. Calm or Headspace are great apps try.
Informal Mindfulness Exercises are bringing the act of being fully present in the moment to your daily tasks. You can practice this simply by not being on your phone, not listening to any music or podcasts, not talking to anyone…and then, just fully engaging in what you are doing, mindfully observing all the little details. Some great ideas to start are….
Mindful Waiting In Line
Mindful Teeth Brushing
If you’d like to dive deeper in to mindfulness, please reach out to me or a therapist near you to schedule an appointment.