What is Mindfulness and How Does it Work?

What is Mindfulness and How Does it Work
Life can sometimes be overwhelming. The ability to maintain a positive outlook when we’re being haunted by our regrets or are bracing for challenges in the future is easier said than done. If this sounds familiar then you should consider practising mindfulness.   Mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years and is rooted in Buddhism or other early religions. In recent years Western science has acknowledged the benefits and has made it a staple in stress reduction exercises. A clinical study published in 2020 corroborated the claim that mindfulness-based meditation does contribute to a reduction in depressive and anxiety symptoms. It is also believed to be useful in improving mental clarity, focus, and even immunity. Perhaps you’d like more information about mindfulness before deciding you want to be a candidate. In this article, we will explain what mindfulness is, how it works, and what to expect.

What is Mindfulness?

This refers to a state of awareness that stems from intentionally paying attention to your thoughts in the present moment in a non-judgemental manner. It’s not about suppressing positive or negative thoughts; rather, it helps us free ourselves from our habitual thought patterns. In other words, we spend so much time thinking about the past or planning for the future that we can miss what’s happening in the here-and-now. We also tend to live our lives on automatic pilot, instead of learning how to slow down and pay attention to what we’re thinking, feeling, or doing in the present moment. 

What are the Principles of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness as a practice is guided by seven principles. These are:  
  1. Non-Judging: Being aware of when you’re being judgmental of yourself and others
  2. Patience: Letting things happen in their own time, not yours
  3. Beginner’s Mind: Being open to new possibilities and acknowledging you don’t need to know all of the answers
  4. Trust: Trusting in yourself and taking responsibility for your actions
  5. Non-Striving: Not forcing certain results to happen and letting things unfold in their own time
  6. Acceptance: Accepting things as they are in the moment without denying or trying to change them
  7. Letting Go: Being willing to let go of the things, people, or ideas that prevent you from living in the moment
   

How Does Mindfulness Actually Work?

  Mindfulness exercises such as meditation and focused breathing can induce a relaxation response. This response engages your parasympathetic nervous system which calms down the body after a stressful situation by lowering the heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.    The practice is also useful in lessening physical symptoms of stress, such as markers like C-reactive proteins, interleukin 6, and cortisol. Reduced levels of these markers translate into lower risks of health conditions such as high blood pressure, digestive issues, insomnia, mental health issues, diminished fertility, and diabetes.   

What Does Being Mindful Feel Like?

  In addition to experiencing more peace of mind, you may become more skilled at noticing and naming your body sensations, thoughts, and emotions.  You may also find that you can choose how to react to situations or moments — even if you are experiencing anxiety, fear, anger, or sadness.    Furthermore, you’ll be less hard on yourself. By giving yourself some grace you’ll be a little less tossed around by what makes you feel bad or insecure. And with better clarity, you’ll learn to be appreciative of the little moments.  

Mindfulness Techniques in Newport Beach, California

It is easy to lose our sense of awareness, creativity, and mental well-being in this distracting world of ours. The team at Poppy Life Care understands this and has added the practice of mindfulness to our list of holistic offerings. If you or your loved one would like to learn more about how our mindfulness program can help you may contact us today.  You may also book a discovery call with Anjanette to sign up for the program.  

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