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Make 2022 the year you are entirely mindful!

It’s a start of a new year, new adventures, and new prospects! This blog is all about mindfulness and how we can go from “Monkey Mind” to a calm, present mind within a few minutes. Now, we know that some would consider mindfulness more of a ‘lifestyle’ practice, which in all fairness, is somewhat true. Still, I do believe that many individuals don’t realize the profound difference it can make in your life and your mental state! I will unravel some of the benefits of mindfulness below. Then we will get straight into simple daily practices you can perform at home, work, or any space you feel comfortable.

 Let’s get into it…. Below are the Top 10 reasons why you should be incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine:

1. Several studies have shown that mindfulness reduces rumination. For those of us who can not seem to switch from thought after thought after thought, mindfulness will help reduce that rumination and leave you with mental clarity and calm.

2. Mindfulness meditation increases positive feelings and decreases anxiety and negativity, thus reducing stress levels. Which in terms lessens anxiety-related disorders and depressive symptoms.

3. Increased creativity. For those who struggle with creativity, this is a perfect way to tap into your creative side and bring out the inner artist.

4. Mindfulness meditation practice helped people disengage from emotionally upsetting pictures. It enabled them to focus better on a cognitive task than people who saw the pictures but did not meditate.

5. Mindfulness protects us against the emotionally stressful effects of relationship conflict. You or your partner will express yourselves in positive ways that will result in a positive relationship status.

6. Mindfulness exercises help people to focus their mind and body at the moment without judgment. Daily mindfulness practice can be helpful for people living with chronic pain because sometimes there are negative or worrisome thoughts about the pain.

7. Body acceptance can be gained by mindfulness for both males and females who suffer from body shamers and unhealthy body image. Mindfulness participants experienced a more significant reduction in body dissatisfaction, body shame, etc.… as well as higher self-love and acceptance, and overall body appreciation.

8. In our 24/7-hour lifestyles, the brain has a lot of distractions to play with. Mindfulness helps centre and ground us and calm the many distractions that prey on our minds. Over time we become more focused, open-minded, and have higher levels of concentration.

9. Improved general mindfulness can enhance feelings of well-being and promote overall positive feelings. Mindfulness also enhances multiple behaviours related to health, getting check-ups, exercising, drinking more water, eating healthier, reducing alcohol intake, smoking habits, etc.…

10. Improves insomnia; almost half the world’s population suffers from some sort of sleep-related disorder. In these chaotic times, who can blame them? It has been found that mindfulness-based meditation helped people to stay asleep longer and improved insomnia severity.

These are just a few of the great benefits of practicing mindfulness. As you go along, the list will start to grow.

Here’s a quick introduction on how to get started:

  • Find a time and space you think you won’t be distracted and start your mindfulness journey.
  • Observe the present moment as it is. We don’t want to quiet the mind but simply observe the thoughts and focus on the present moment with mindfulness. I must warn you it is a challenge, but the rewards are much higher than the sacrifice.
  • As you continue to let each thought pass by, continue to observe without judgement and let them pass as if they were a passing car.
  • If you feel your mind is starting to stray from the path, gently bring it back – even if this is an ongoing process, it can be mastered; it’s all about patience, acceptance and breathing. Remind to breathe.
  • Last but not least, be kind to yourself and the process!

Like anything in life, practice makes perfect! Just like you would continue to practice your golf swing to become a golfer, the same premise stands, you must put in the work to get the results.

There are several online resources and social media platforms that are all about mindfulness. Do some research and give it a try. If you feel it’s not for you, then that is alright, but try not to kick it before you try it.

Article by: Chiquita Coetzee

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