Mindfulness is to be present. It may also be thought of as a practice designed to gently gain more control over your attention and bring it into the present moment. Your attention is a precious resource, needed for learning, for your best performance at work, and for engaging in relationships. If your mind is excessively worrying over the future or ruminating about the past, the practice of mindfulness can help.
Over time, with continued practice of mindfulness on a regular basis, your ability to focus on the present moment will grow, and your experience of anxiety and stress will decrease.
Imagine being able to fall asleep peacefully at night instead of helplessly listening to your mind to race over all the perceived stresses of the day and imagined stresses of the future.
Imagine not waking up in the middle of the night feeling anxious and overwhelmed by life.
Imagine experiencing more peace as you go about your day- at work, in traffic, and at home.
If you are feeling anxious or stressed, long, slow deep breaths are an immediate and effective way to calm your nervous system.
The act of taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly is akin to manually taking hold of your nervous system’s stress response and shifting it from a sympathetic response (fight or flight) to a parasympathetic response (relax and recovery).
Whether you are in a stressful situation or just working to practice mindfulness during specific times you set aside each day, the breath is an effective way to begin.
Many people begin the practice of mindfulness by simply becoming aware of their breath. Even when you are in the midst of an activity, gaining an awareness of your breath immediately brings you into the present moment.
A simple way to get started:
Mindfulness is a practice that is easy to step into. It is also something to be nurtured and cultivated over time. By practicing living in the present, guiding our attention, and reducing stress and anxiety, we can greatly improve the quality of our lives with both immediate and long-term effects.