The word ‘mindfulness’ has been thrown around a lot recently, but do you know what it really means? Basically, mindfulness is the human ability to be fully aware of what we are doing, not overreacting, not getting overwhelmed, and being fully present. Although this may seem out of reach for some of us, mindfulness is actually a quality that every single one of us has innately. Most people assume that mindfulness is sitting quietly and meditating. However, mindfulness meditation helps us to have more time in our lives, to just be calm, suspend any judgment we might have, and let our mind wander freely for a little while. A lot of research has gone into proving the benefits of mindfulness meditation, and studies have shown that it is proven to reduce stress significantly. We have collected together a number of ways that mindfulness can help reduce stress levels and leave us feeling lighter and more relaxed.
When you practice mindfulness, you take a step back from situations and don’t take them quite as literally as you usually would. By doing this, you are preventing the stress response from kick-starting in the first place, and it is never initiated.
No immediate reactions
Instead of reacting to situations immediately, you allow yourself to have a moment, pause and come up with the best solution to the problem. Anyone can achieve this by practicing something called ‘mindfulness exercises.’ These exercises can be performed by anyone, and are easy to look up online.
“Being” mode of mind
Your being mode of mind is associated with relaxation. While a lot of us are focused on our ‘doing’ mind, which is related to the stress response, those who practice mindfulness are more in touch with their relaxed state of being.
Sensitive to the needs of your body
It has been proven in research that you become more in tune with your body and, as a result, notice pains earlier. Being in pain also triggers our stress response, so if we are able to channel the cause or problem sooner, the quicker it can be dealt with.
Emotions of others
Taking the time to become more aware of both yourself and others around you means your emotional intelligence rises. You are far less likely to get into any sort of conflicts or arguments, as you are more likely to see the point of view from the other people involved. Therefore, you are likely to build stronger bonds with other people as you can read their emotions far better.
Care and compassion
The level of care and compassion you have for yourself rises substantially. This results in the stress response being soothed and less likely to activate so quickly in situations. Along with this, your compassion toward other people will also increase. Other people will notice this, and gravitate toward you as they feel a natural connection with you, and feel comfortable in your presence.
Practicing mindfulness when you can has been proven to have amazing effects on you, and how you view the world. Stress is one of the worst human emotions people feel, and decreasing that emotion is important when trying to live a long and happy life. Mindfulness doesn’t help to suppress stress and negative thoughts, instead it helps deal with situations in a different way. It will allow you to observe the world from a different perspective and bring you closer to your own mind and body.