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Practicing Mindfulness for Your Health

By prioritizing learning about mindfulness for your health techniques, one can find new routines and practices that can increase feelings of calm and peace while minimizing stress or anxiety-related feelings. Peruse this blog to find simple ways to practice mindfulness throughout your day and how it can benefit your health!

What is Mindfulness?

We often hear buzzwords, such as mindfulness, but might only sometimes receive practical instructions for integrating these beneficial practices into our daily lives. Psychology Today offers the definition, “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.”Mindfulness helps people cope with difficult emotions and can decrease stress and anxiety. One does not have to become a Yogi, meditate, or ascribe to any specific method to increase mindfulness in our daily lives. While yoga and meditation are certainly ways to practice becoming more mindful, here are five simple ways to practice mindfulness daily. 

1.   Be Present in the Moment

Sometimes, the busyness and demands of life can interfere with our ability to appreciate the beauty, abundance, or simplicity right in front of us. One mindfulness technique people can begin to make a part of their routine is “Being Present.” There are many ways to approach this, and as it becomes more natural, many individuals find unique ways to be and stay present. 

We can recognize and pay attention to things around us using our senses. Try out this sample exercise to practice becoming more mindful:

  • Name five things I can see.
  • Name four things I hear.
  • Name three things I can smell.
  • Name two things I can touch.
  • Name one thing I can taste.

This exercise can be done orally, in writing, or quietly in the mind. It helps to bring our focus and attention to what is directly in our space. 

One can also practice mindfulness by simply sitting in silence and observing. The categories and quantities are only meant to be a guide. Still, for the longevity of our mindfulness practices, finding what feels natural and comfortable based on one’s personality and goals is essential. 

2.   Breathe Deeply with Mindfulness

Oxygen is vital to life, and our breathing patterns can affect our bodies in many ways. Breathing deeply and paying attention to the breath is a form of mindfulness. Sometimes, in stressful situations, we might take shallow breaths or hyperventilate. Becoming mindful of breathing patterns can help to not only regulate breathing but also help bring down levels of stress and anxiety. 

Square Breathing is a sample mindfulness technique that can help one become more aware of their breathing and bring regulation to the body.

  • Inhale for four counts.
  • Hold for four counts.
  • Exhale for four counts.
  • Hold for four counts.
  • Repeat until breathing is regulated. 

There are also apps and other media to help regulate our breathing. One can explore different options to find which tool works best for their individual preferences. If the square breathing example isn’t comfortable, one can simply bring attention to their breath or breathing,  

3.   Gratitude

Another powerful mindfulness practice is gratitude. By taking the time to be thankful for the things one appreciates in life, one may experience various benefits, such as improved sleep, reduced inflammation, and a better mood. Some people might keep a gratitude journal, give thanks through prayer, send thank you cards or notes, or publicly express gratitude on social media. It does not matter how one practices gratitude; the benefits are the same. 

Suppose one is having difficulty identifying what they are grateful for. In that case, some helpful categories might include family, friends, home, community, material things and personal belongings, experiences such as trips or concerts, individual skills or talents, support professionals, occupation, education, services, pets or animals, technology, or ideas such as freedom. This mindfulness practice can include anything that spurs a sense of thankfulness, gratitude, or appreciation. 

4.   Examine Your Thoughts Without Judgement

Negative thoughts are sometimes unavoidable. There is nothing wrong with having various ideas and feelings throughout the day. However, it can become a problem if this thinking reaches one extreme, rumination or another, toxic positivity. Practicing curiosity about our thinking patterns and analyzing them with non-judgment is one mindfulness practice that can be easily implemented. 

The next time a negative thought arises, practice self-compassion and understanding. Instead, avoid self-blame or shame by consciously accepting the thought and avoiding the urge to label it as good or bad. Having a non-reactive response to our thoughts is a very beneficial mindfulness technique.

5.   Get Out in Nature for Mindfulness

One straightforward way to connect with mindfulness practices and find a sense of calm is to spend time outdoors or in natural spaces. Being in nature provides fresh air to breathe, but it can also have effects like slowing the heart rate, reducing stress hormones, and helping our brains calm down. Also, when we are focused on the natural world around us, we are less likely to be connected to a device such as a phone, tablet or computer. As crucial as exploring nature is, one must also prioritize screen-free, media-free time daily. Research shows a variety of stress-reducing and health-boosting benefits from increasing the time spent in nature. 

Brain Health Support 

The Well Being System offers a variety of stress-reduction and mood-regulation benefits. Pairing the herbs, vitamins, minerals, and extracts in this comprehensive wellness system with the mindfulness practices described above will help you reach your goals for stress management, sleep quality, and anxiety reduction. Stage 1 provides the daily neurological support needed for managing stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha, Vitamin B Complex, and St. John’s Wort support mood regulation. Stage 2 supports a restful sleep. Valerian Root, GABA, and L-Theanine promote relaxation. Melatonin, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, L-Tryptophan, and Magnesium are natural sleep aids. 

One could even pair mindfulness practices with taking supplements to help form routines and increase the use of mindfulness techniques during the day. As we age, taking the time to nourish our mind, body, and soul becomes vital. Using a combination of scientifically proven supplement formulations and daily mindfulness practices can contribute to improved cognitive, physical, and emotional performance. 

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