The Powerful Benefits Of These Simple Mindfulness Techniques

Aug 06, 2022

The Powerful Benefits of These Simple Mindfulness Techniques

(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

"Mindfulness is a lifetime's journey along a path that ultimately leads nowhere, only to who you are." — Jon Kabat-Zinn

When you think of mindfulness, what comes to mind? Many years ago the term mindfulness may have conjured up scenes of gurus, buddhas or wisemen. Sitting cross-legged under a tree or on the top of a mountain in Tibet, high above the clouds. 

Thanks to researchers like Herbert Benson and Jon Kabat-Zinn, the term has been stripped of this mystical veneer. 

There’s nothing fancy about it

While mindfulness can be used in religion, it isn't a religious concept. It doesn't have its own building to go to or dogma to follow. It's a change in the way that you think and perceive the world.  

When you make the choice to do your best to practice it on a daily basis, that's all it is, a choice. The benefits are many and varied. It only requires that you spend some of your time attempting to be present in the moment. It's something that we can all do, regardless of our beliefs or background.

Mindfulness meditation is a popular and effective way to practice, but it is not the only way. Below are a few more.

How to work mindfulness into your daily life

Practicing mindfulness is great because it can fit into any lifestyle, anytime, anywhere. Here are 6 activities that have been scientifically proven to help you practice mindfulness. And to reap the rewards you get from it.

1. Breathing exercises 

Breathing exercises can be a great way to get or stay calm in challenging situations.[210] No need for a mountain top. These are easy methods that you can do at work, on a plane, or in traffic. Try box breathing, belly breathing, or deep breathing. Anything that helps you focus on your breath. 

2. Gardening

Gardening has been proven to lessen symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD.[120] [123] It's also a great way to feel a connection with the natural world. This can be especially helpful if you live in a city. Try getting a plant or two at first, they should brighten up your space. Also, many communities have gardens that you can get involved with.

3. Journaling

Design your journal to encourage you to check in with yourself a few times daily. This will help you to examine your feelings and experiences throughout the day. The simple act of setting up topics to write about will help you to look for examples during the day. Things like what you were grateful for that day, or asking yourself, "What did I learn today?"

4. Visualization

There are a few different ways to visualize.[123] It can be helpful to have a solid starting point. Where/how/who are you right now? Where are you headed? How will you get there? Visualizing the necessary steps that you must take to reach your goals is a tested and true method. 

5. Walking

There is such a thing as walking meditation, or "walking Zen." This is when you go on a walk with the intention to observe only. Try to become a receiver and take in all the things that you see, smell, and hear. Try to add as little judgment or labeling as possible to what you witness.

6. Listening

Calming music or sounds can be a big help for those of us that don't care for silence. Find and use a soothing playlist that you can close your eyes and listen to. Sitting in your car in the parking lot on a break can be the battery recharge that you needed.[239]

If you don't already have go-to music for this, check out "Weightless" by Marconi Union. They worked with a group called Mindlab International to scientifically create the most relaxing song possible. It's pretty cool.

Checking in on yourself

Some of the first things that we ask someone that we care about if we haven't talked to them in a while is, "How are you? How is everything going?" Mindfulness is a way of asking yourself the same questions and listening to the answers.

This can help you to feel more grounded, and less like you’re at the mercy of a chaotic world. It can help you to recognize the things in your life that you can change, and the ones that you must accept. It can also help you to take a step back from your busy life for a moment, and see the beauty in your world.

Give it a try. You'll be happy you did.

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