Does doing nothing, make you feel uncomfortable? Is your mind always racing? Do you feel like you are always busy even during your down time? That is because you are suppressing your need for mindfulness. Mindfulness is the state of being conscious or aware. Mindfulness helps ease your mind overall because you are training your brain to stay present. Why is staying present so important? Focusing on the past can increase depression. Focusing on the future can increase anxiety. This is why staying present can decrease anxiety and depression while increasing a healthy mentality overall.
In Buddhism, there is a practice called "Satipatthana" that is used to enhance mindfulness.
Sati = Attention
Upa = Inside
Thana = To keep
Satipatthana means to to keep your attention inside.
Is mindfulness hard to achieve? No! We engage in mindfulness almost everyday. Do you have moments where you are paused and simply enjoying what is going on around you? That is an example of mindfulness. The old saying "stop and smell the roses" was created for a reason!
Scientists and Buddhists believe there are great health benefits and satisfaction with life overall when engaging in mindfulness. Scientists found that engaging in over 10 minutes of mindfulness 5 times per week can improve task performance! You can find this study here.
Buddhists advise those who are interested in engaging in mindfulness to its full extent, to be mindful of your body, sensations, mind, and the universal truth or reality of life.
Here are some quick and easy tips to engage in more mindful behavior:
Be aware of your breathing. Engage your diaphragm and feel your belly become round when inhaling and then becoming flat when exhaling. Become aware of the flow of your breath as well.
Engage in non-judgmental and energy uplifting listening.
Eat and chew slower.
Empty your mind through meditation. As soon as your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath.
Go outdoors and be one with nature.
Be aware of yourself when doing activities, talking, and thinking.