KB02 - The Beginners Guide To MindfulnessJan 14, 2023
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Have you ever found yourself lost in thought, ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, only to realise that you missed out on the present moment?
It's a common experience that can have negative consequences for our well-being.
Research has shown that "being present in the moment" is associated with many positive outcomes, such as reduced stress and anxiety, improved focus and concentration, and enhanced emotional well-being.
In 2010, Harvard Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert conducted a study on 2,250 subjects to examine their level of mindfulness.
They checked in with the subjects at random times during the day and asked them three questions:
- What are they doing?
- Where was their mind focused?
- What is their current level of happiness?
A whopping 47% of the time, the subjects were not paying attention to what they were doing!
The study also found that a wandering mind is not a happy mind, as not being present in the moment was the cause of unhappiness for the subjects rather than a consequence.
When the subjects were thinking about neutral or unhappy topics, they were 67% less happy and were no happier when thinking about pleasant topics than when fully engaged in the present moment.
These findings suggest that.
Being present in the moment is crucial for happiness.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, you're not alone.
In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and lose touch with what's important.
But there is a way to find peace and calm amidst the chaos:
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
It's a practice of paying attention to your present-moment experience with an open and curious mind, without judgment.
How to get started with mindfulness
One of the best ways to get started with mindfulness is a technique known as a “body scan.”
A body scan is a mindfulness technique that involves lying down and focusing on each part of the body, one at a time, starting at the toes and moving up to the top of the head. As you focus on each body part, take a few deep breaths and allow any tension to release.
At the top of this blog post, I’ve attached a 5-minute body scan for you to try yourself.
The 5 Benefits of Mindfulness
#1 Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Stress and Anxiety are usually looked at as the same two things, but there are some key differences between the two..
Stress - The Natural, Physical and Mental response to the demands and pressures of life.
Anxiety - An intense, excessive, persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
Mindfulness has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, as it helps individuals become more aware of their thoughts and emotions and approach them in a non-judgmental way.
Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth - Eckhart Tolle
#2 Improves focus and concentration
When we are mindful, we are less likely to be distracted by thoughts about the past or the future, and we are better able to stay focused on the present.
Additionally, mindfulness can help to quiet the "monkey mind," or the constant stream of thoughts and distractions that can make it difficult to concentrate.
#3 Increases self-awareness
Two things people don’t do enough of…
- Writing shit down
- Being aware of your thoughts and feelings
Mindfulness can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, leading to greater self-awareness.
This can be particularly helpful for individuals seeking to make positive life changes.
(which is most of us, let’s be honest!)
#4 Promotes emotional well-being
When mindful, we are less likely to get caught up in negative emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness. We can better handle challenging situations with a sense of calm and clarity.
Mindfulness teaches us to “find the gap”, which is the space between something that happens to you and the time you take to respond.
Ever wish you didn’t send that scathing email or text to someone? Mindfulness will help reduce this.
#5 Enhances physical health
Mindfulness has been associated with many physical health benefits by reducing the production of stress-related hormones such as cortisol.
Having high levels of cortisol in the body can increase appetite and cravings, leading to weight gain.
it can also hurt immune function, making the body more vulnerable to infections and other illnesses.
Keeping cortisol at healthy levels by keeping your stress levels in check will do wonders for your physical health!
👉 Mindfulness is focusing your awareness in the present moment
👉 A simple daily “body scan” can help “check in with yourself” daily, so you better understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
👉 The key to success is self-awareness, and Mindfulness can help you become more self-aware
👉 There are too many benefits of Mindfulness not to have it as a part of your day-to-day life
I hope you enjoyed today's Knowledge Bomb Newsletter; see you next week for another one.
Calling Everyone From Belfast! On Saturday 22nd April I'll be hosting my brand new Mindset with Muscle Workshop at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast. To grab yourself a ticket and find out more just click here