Why Mindfulness Is Important for You
Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash
Written by: Sabrina Sourjah
Date Updated: 7/26/2021
Reviewed by: Patrick D. Randolph, Ph.D.
Have you noticed how you feel when you get disturbed via Facebook notifications when you’re deep in a work assignment?
Do you feel less grounded when you get yanked into yet another emergency meeting?
The world has become a place of consistent noise now. We need a way to quieten our minds and focus on the “now,” at least for a little while. Mindfulness can be a game-changer that differentiates you from your peers.
Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.
~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the acute awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment. This awareness is neutral and nonjudgmental.
Mindfulness lets you be fully present in the current moment and experience life fully.
Is Mindfulness a Meditation?
Meditation is one of the many practices that help us become mindful. But this is not the only way to become mindful, which is a human quality.
Examples of Mindfulness
You can be mindful in all your everyday experiences, such as purchasing groceries or having a bath.
Mindfulness Eating: When you eat, do you pay attention to the taste that your tongue is experiencing? Or the textures in your mouth?
Mindfulness Journal: This refers to writing down all your thoughts and feelings. In other words, this is being mindful of your mindset and emotions.
Breathing Exercises: Closing your eyes and paying attention to your breathing for a few minutes promotes mindfulness.
Body Scan: Scanning your bodily sensations from your head to toe can make you fully aware of what’s going on with your body.
Musical Mindfulness: Concentrating on the beat, melody, and lyrics can make you mindful of the experience of listening to music.
Presence in Conversations: Truly listening to friends and family without thinking about anything else will be felt by your loved ones.
Benefits of Mindfulness
1. Overall Health
When you watch TV while eating, you tend to overeat as you’re not fully focused on your meal. This can lead to obesity, which can be harmful to your health. Therefore, mindful eating is recommended if you want to lose weight.
Mindfulness can also help with chronic pain, blood pressure, heart disease, sleep quality, and gastrointestinal difficulties.
2. Surgery Outcomes
Since mindfulness lets you concentrate on the present moment, you won’t ruminate about the past, leading to a calm and relaxed outlook. Studies have found that when you are more relaxed, your wounds can heal more quickly. This means that mindful practices can lead to a shorter recovery period after surgery.
3. Mental Health
Psychotherapists use mindful meditations to treat depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mindful practices can also make you less stressed.
When you practice mindfulness daily, you will tune into your emotions and easily identify when you’re in psychological imbalance. This can prompt you to address the challenge head-on and get the help you need.
Research shows that meditation that focuses on mindfulness can increase the activity of the telomerase enzyme. This enzyme is linked to decreasing cell aging and increasing longevity.
5. Life Satisfaction
Living life in a mindful manner means that you are more self-aware and have an optimistic attitude. Studies also confirm that mindfulness can predict your relationship satisfaction, which plays an important role in determining your overall satisfaction with life.
Mindful practices are not limited to meditating by the sea. You can be mindful in everything you do.
Put your phone on silent mode and try your best to concentrate on the task at hand. Let go of all interferences, knowing that you can come back to these after you complete the task.