Mindfulness – A practice for enhanced emotional well-being
Mindfulness is a practice that instils awareness of our thoughts and feelings and allows us to
see the present moment clearly. One doesn’t need to “empty the mind” as the existing
popular notion around meditation but rather let thoughts come and go without getting
caught up on any particular one.
Did you know that mindfulness can be helpful in enhancing our emotional health? Let’s
delve deeper into understanding this practice.
Two components of mindfulness that work together to bring relief –
- Awareness – This allows us to notice our thoughts, emotions, anxiousness and negative perceptions as they arise before they overtake our present moment. By simply being aware, we can become more flexible in how we respond to these thoughts.
- Inculcating an open and accepting attitude – Acceptance is a prominent aspect of mindfulness. One learns to accept whatever comes their way rather than trying to suppress it. When we accept our emotions, the internal struggle is less strenuous
and we have more headspace to deal with the situation better.
How does mindfulness impact our psychological well-being?
- Reduces anxiety – Being mindful makes it easier to deal with anxiety inducing thought pattern. Observing one’s thoughts objectively is also an integral learning in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that is widely used by people suffering from anxiety. By focusing on the present moment, people who practice mindfulness on a regular basis are less likely to get caught up with worries that lead to panic attacks and anxiousness.
- Improves physical health – Mindfulness can help relieve stress, treat heart diseases, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, reduce gastrointestinal issues etc.
- Improves mental health – A significant number of psychotherapists all over the world have inculcated mindfulness practice as an important aspect in the treatment of a number of issues like anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, OCD etc.
How to practice mindfulness throughout the day?
- Notice the everyday – The aim of mindfulness is not to empty the mind but to achieve a state of comfort with one’s thoughts and emotions.
- Return to observing the present moment – It’s perfectly normal for our minds to get carried away or get overwhelmed with thoughts. Mindfulness is a practice of returning again and again to the present moment whenever we catch our minds wandering.
- Be kind to your wandering mind – People have a tendency to judge themselves for the thoughts that arise in their minds. It’s important to not be too hard on oneself and gently bring one’s mind back when it wanders.