Everyone should practice mindfulness
3 mins read

Everyone should practice mindfulness

Everyone has a basic understanding of his or her surroundings, but how well are they really paying attention? The world, especially with technology, can be very distracting — but the human itself can be our biggest distractions.

Recently, I, along with many others, have chosen to recognize how frequently we lose ourselves thinking and worrying about the past and future rather than living in the present. This distracted state of mind can negatively affect all aspects of life, but for many, it can be a hard habit to break.

While people shouldn’t expect to be cured completely, many have turned to a practice that may help: mindfulness. The philosophies of mindfulness aren’t just a passing trend, but truly admirable ideas people can apply to their own lives.

By practicing simple methods of appreciating the present, everyone has the capability to improve themselves. We should all practice mindfulness techniques to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Mindfulness began as a Buddhist tradition and has since been designed into its own therapy and meditation. Compared to other “self-help” techniques, this isn’t a three-step solution — it’s a lifestyle and mindset.

Instead of involving “ohm’s” and confusing yoga poses, practices that can seem unapproachable to many people, mindfulness involves the practice of observing thoughts, feelings and sensations. By being aware of one’s thoughts and bodily sensations, one can better manage his or her emotions and everyday dilemmas. With mindfulness, developing simple habits can produce significant results.

One benefit to practicing mindfulness is the way it causes measurable physical changes in the body and the brain. Even five minutes a day can make a difference. According to Harvard, mindfulness has been found to relieve stress, high blood pressure, restless sleep and chronic pain.

The University of Massachusetts also discovered that mindfulness can improve our immune systems and ability to deal with stress and to form deeper connections with others. In one survey, 68 percent of UK doctors recommended that all of their patients learn mindfulness techniques. Universally, scientists and professionals agree that mindfulness is not a fad, but a life-changing outlook.

Some ways of incorporating mindfulness into life include becoming conscious during the activities that feel automatic, such as brushing one’s teeth, eating a meal or getting dressed.

People who practice mindfulness focus on each of the five bodily senses. They recognize the movements of their bodies with each breath and footstep taken. When interacting with others, they mindfully make eye contact with them and actively listen to the conversation. They also regularly express gratitude towards others and the beautiful world surrounding them.

Those interested in seeking mindful habits need daily reminders to practice these techniques. Eventually, however, these habits will become second nature.

Everyone from those battling depression and anxiety to Fortune 500 tycoons and Pentagon officials are now embracing the mindful lifestyle. The components of a mindful life are ones we should all value: forgiving others, being one’s authentic self and performing actions with intention.

Simply taking the time to appreciate the things in life we often take for granted has the power to free us of our daily concerns. Even if life is fine as is, I challenge everyone to take a deep breath and notice the little details that modern society usually overlooks. The resulting discoveries may be surprising.

Life is a beautiful experience, but only if we are fully present to value it as such.