Mindfulness is all the rave these days. What is it, and why is it so good for you?
The practice entails removing yourself from future fears or ruminations over an immutable past. It forces you to focus on the present moment, and in doing so, helps you to manage your emotions and behave more logically.
How can this impact your life for the better? Consider the following eight benefits of adding mindfulness to your life.
1. It Encourages EQ
Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to recognize and manage your feelings in a positive way. It applies to situations as diverse as refraining from slugging the person who ran over your toe with their grocery cart to navigating a challenging breakup.
Having a high EQ keeps you from behaving in ways that only harm you in the end. Did your boss make an error on a budget report? Maybe, but a client meeting might not be the best time or place to point it out.
People with healthy EQs tend to enjoy a higher level of success because they build positive team relationships while defusing stress and conflict. Mindfulness helps you develop this quality by examining your behaviors non judgmentally and identifying ways you could handle challenging situations more effectively.
2. It Helps You Break Harmful Habits
If you want to do anything from shedding unwanted pounds to quitting drinking, mindfulness can help. How does it work?
One way is through restructuring your brain’s reward system to help you crave more positive activities. A drink might help you temporarily feel better. However, when you realize how it impacts your neurotransmitters and leaves you more depressed later, you choose another way to unwind. Yoga doesn’t leave you with an unpleasant hangover or a costly DUI.
Often, you choose unhealthy coping mechanisms for immediate relief. Once you reflect on the unpleasant consequences of doing so, you find it natural to seek other options.
3. It Improves Your Relationships
Do you often find yourself snapping at your partner, and then regretting what you said in a moment of frustration? Mindfulness can help break the cycle.
Mindfulness forces you to reflect on the impact your behavior has on other people. When you realize your sarcasm wounds them, you make a concerted effort to tame your tongue.
4. It Makes You a More Patient Parent
You are your children’s world, and they imitate how you behave. You’re responsible for raising them to be kind, empathic and self-reflective. Mindfulness can help.
When you reflect on how things like your attachment style affect your children, you feel motivated to provide a more positive example. You might seek therapy to help you overcome fearful or preoccupied tendencies, which in turn helps your kids grow into more secure adults.
5. It Eases Chronic Pain
You often manifest a negative mental state in your physical body. Think about the way your jaw clenches when you feel stressed or angry.
A mindfulness body scan can help ease chronic pain spurred by muscle tension. All you need is a quiet place to focus on your breath. Work your way from your toes to your head as you focus on your physical sensations. When you encounter a tight area, breathe into it while mentally saying, “relax.” See if you can release the cramping, which lowers inflammation and dulls the ache.
6. It Alleviates Despair
You often feel despair because you don’t see any routes out of a seemingly impossible situation. Mindfulness can help by helping you look at matters objectively unclouded by an emotional haze.
Sitting in meditation for a few minutes and focusing on your breath restores you to the present. It reminds you that whatever you fear most isn’t happening right now, meaning you have time to change the outcome.
Do you fear losing your job — which prompts visions of homelessness, sending you into a downward spiral? Mindfulness can help you see the value in dusting off your resume, pouring more energy into your side hustle or both.
7. It Paves a Path to the Future
Mindfulness helps put you in touch with your values. Who are you at your core? The only way to discover what makes you tick is through honest self-reflection.
Often, anxiety and depression result from a misalignment between your values and the life you lead. If you see yourself as a compassionate person, but your job involves calling people to demand the payment of past debts, maybe it’s time to seek a new field.
Does your loneliness stem from a sense of disconnection from your community? Mindfulness can help you think of meaningful ways to contribute while meeting others. You could walk dogs for a nearby shelter or even run for local office.
8. It Keeps You Grounded in the Present
While mindfulness can help you discover a path forward, it also helps keep you from becoming paralyzed by future anxieties. It teaches you how to enjoy the here and now.
Are you struggling to lose weight? If part of your problem entails munching while you work, eating mindfully at assigned times can help you win the battle of the bulge without dieting. Savor your meal and recognize when your body signals that its full.
Do you find yourself unable to focus? Take a mindful “halt” — are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Sometimes, you don’t realize that all you need to break your funk is a brief nap until you check in with your body.
Adopt a Mindfulness Practice — It’s Good For You
Mindfulness is so good for you — look at the eight benefits above. The next time you feel overwhelmed, remember the wise words of the Buddha: “Do not look for sanctuary in anyone except yourself.” Spend some time in meditation and restore yourself to calm.
Article Submitted By Community Writer