Mindfulness is a state of nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment. This includes becoming aware of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and senses. Mindfulness can be very effective in helping cope with feelings of depression and anxiety, and can help a person effectively manage those feelings. Practicing mindfulness skills helps you learn ways to sit with difficult feelings without suppressing, analyzing, or encouraging them. Acknowledging that your feelings are present can be an effective way of helping them be less powerful. Practicing mindfulness helps you create space around your stressors so they do not consume you.
Benefits of Mindfulness:
Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
Improves memory, focus, and mental processing speed
Improves ability to adapt to stressful situations
Greater satisfaction within relationships
Improves ability to manage emotions
Mindfulness practices include meditation, walking, sensory awareness, and body scanning. The habit of performing these practices can be beneficial in helping you manage emotions and the feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Sit in a comfortable place and begin paying attention to your breathing. Notice the physical sensation of the air filling your lungs and then slowly leaving. When your mind wanders simply notice your thoughts and turn your attention back to breathing.
While walking, make a point to practice mindfulness. Start by noticing how your body moves and feels with each step. Then, expand your awareness to your surroundings. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Feel?
Make a conscious effort to notice the present moment through each of your senses.
5 things you see
4 things you feel
3 things you hear
2 things you smell
1 thing you taste
Pay close attention to the physical sensations throughout your body. Start with your feet and move up through your legs, abdomen, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, and face. Spend anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute on each body part.
Practicing mindfulness may prove beneficial in reducing your stress and anxiety. A Therapist at Brightland Health can help teach you mindfulness practices.