By: Taylore Fox
What is Mindfulness & Why Is It Important?
Mindfulness is a strategy that focuses on awareness of your thoughts, feelings and the environment around you, especially during times of stress. Practicing mindfulness is also about accepting those thoughts and feelings for what they are, without labeling them as “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” Research supports the use of mindfulness-based approaches to help improve aspects of both mental and physical health, including (x, x, x):
Simple Mindfulness Strategies
Practicing mindfulness aims to get you to notice the present moment during stress but to eventually turn it into a habit to promote positivity. It isn’t easy, but it’s called a “practice” for a reason—because it takes practice. Here are some quick and easy strategies to get you started.
Mindful Eating Exercise
You can do this exercise with any food you can eat with your hands like fruit, chocolate, nuts. Bring your attention to the food you’re holding. Pay attention to its shape, color, texture, if it’s warm or cool, how it smells and then how it tastes. The idea is to focus your awareness only on the food in your hands and really take time to notice it.
Five Senses Exercise
In this exercise, you’re going to use each one of your senses individually. Instead of focusing on one object, focus on your environment as a whole using one of your senses at a time. Notice one or two things around you that you can see, hear, smell, taste and feel at that moment.
You can start sitting in a chair or lying on your back with your palms face up. Be still and bring attention to your body. Notice how your clothes feel on your skin, your feet on the ground, your back against the chair or bed. Notice how your body feels as a whole, if you have any stiffness in your muscles, if you feel hot or cold. Try to focus your mind only on your body.
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Again, mindfulness is a practice. The idea isn’t necessarily to master these exercises, especially not right away. The idea is to try to direct your attention to the present moment. Your mind may begin to wander and if it does, you can always redirect it. Practicing mindfulness is a good way to check in with your mental and physical health.
Have you ever practiced mindfulness? What are some other relaxation techniques you use?
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.