Mind Full or Mindful: Practices to improve emotional and physical well being
By Haneen Ahmad

Mindfulness. What exactly is it and why is it important?

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

Let’s dive deeper. This is our ability to be present and tune into our senses. The way we think, breath, and our reactions. Paying attention to the present with curiosity yet without judgment. Mindfulness is a combination of drawing awareness to belief and breath. It helps clear your mind and restore balance. Reduces anxiety and stress, as well as helps in processing emotions. With all that jam-packed goodness why would anyone not practice mindfulness?

Here are 10 simple ways to start integrating mindfulness into your life today

 

  1. Create time and space each day for mindful meditation. Try to stick with the same time of day, generally a quiet place, with little to no distractions. Work with your breath. Headspace is a great free app that offers a variety of meditations.

 

  1. Slow down. Slow down when eating, when reading, when interacting with others. Slow down and really take things in, notice your surroundings, savor moments.

 

  1. Get outdoors and embrace the beauty of nature. Aim to do this every day for 30 minutes. Notice the smell of the air, the faint sounds, the breeze as it blows softly against your skin.

 

  1. Pay attention to what your gut is telling you. What am I feeling and why? Notice what is happening within and around you.

 

  1. Whatever is going on accept it for what it is. Try your best to just acknowledge, especially without judgment. Make peace with moments that aren’t perfect.

 

  1. Try to meet yourself and any situation with kindness. Practice compassion, nurture connection and then note how this shifts things for you. Forgive your mistakes, whether small or large.

 

  1. Be mindful of your physical space and how it affects you. Are things organized? Are they cluttered? Does this make you anxious? How do you feel when your space is in order?

 

  1. Don’t overcommit yourself. Ask yourself “what do I need right now?” and put yourself first.

 

  1. Practice gratitude. Show gratitude for good moments and present with grace for bad ones.

 

  1. Do one thing at a time. This will help you focus on what you are doing. Quality over quantity. Multitasking is great but not at the expense of quality.

 

Practicing mindfulness has many benefits starting with a reduction in stress and anxiety. It also helps to strengthen your ability to concentrate and focus, and increases your empathy and happiness. These steps have helped me create a sense of awareness, balance, and compassion in my life and I hope they do the same for you.

 

Content and connected,

Haneen