If you’re new to mindfulness and meditation, you may be wondering: how does mindfulness work?
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, understanding your thoughts and feelings in a specific moment without interpretation or judgement. Often linked to meditation and spirituality, mindfulness is key to finding your happiness and inner peace – but how does mindfulness work?
How does mindfulness work?
To engage in mindfulness is to refocus your mind, observing and fully experiencing your thoughts and emotions rather than rejecting them, attempting to avoid them, or allowing yourself to become immersed in and overwhelmed by them.
It is something that, once embraced, is practiced all the time; it’s a mindset and a way of life.
However, there are tools and practices you can implement and use to encourage and embrace mindfulness.
How to practice mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation: meditation is a powerful way to embrace mindfulness; it’s an opportunity to calm and still your mind; checking in on your thoughts, emotions, and body, and taking time for yourself.
Take a moment to stop and breathe: particularly if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, creating emotional space between yourself and your emotions or the situation contributing to those emotions is incredibly important. Taking a moment to stop what you’re doing and breathe – even if merely for 10 or 20 seconds – will help you understand and come to terms with what’s happening.
Do one thing at a time and focus on it: all too often, we rush tasks; whether it’s preparing a meal, getting ready for work, or doing the laundry, and we rarely pause to consider how we’re feeling or the sensations we’re experiencing, and we rarely focus on that one task – distracted by conversations, our phones, the TV or even our thoughts. To practice mindfulness, focus your attention on that one task or moment, consider how you’re feeling, what you’re doing, and the sensations you’re experiencing while completing it. So, next time you’re doing something seemingly small like brushing your hair or doing the washing up, focus entirely on that one task and how it feels, physically and emotionally.
Take time away from electrical devices: it’s normal to become distracted; by our phones, our tablets, the TV, or the news and, especially during challenging times, it’s all too easy to use these things as a way of escaping from the ‘real’ world and how you’re feeling. That’s why taking time away from electrical devices like your phone is essential to mindfulness. This will allow you to become more present in the moment and lessen the risk of becoming overwhelmed or doubting yourself in relation to others.
What effects does mindfulness have?
Mindfulness can have many positive effects, not only on your emotional wellbeing, thoughts, and perceptions of yourself and others, but also many positive physical effects, and has been proven to change your brain in small but quite incredible ways.
Practicing mindfulness helps you become more self-aware; of your thoughts and emotions and your ability to act and react more objectively to stimuli that you may have otherwise found overwhelming or distressing in some way.
What’s more, mindfulness can help you with your memory; by focusing on the present moment and completing one task at a time, rather than rushing through multiple tasks simultaneously.
By taking the time to focus on specific tasks and how they make you feel and the sensations you feel while completing them, you’ll start to notice body awareness becoming more prevalent – your senses and sensory perceptions will heighten.
Self and emotional regulation will also improve, and you’ll find yourself more easily able to forgive and let go of people and emotions you may have otherwise found difficult.
In short, mindfulness works by enabling you to focus your attention on the present moment without distraction. It allows you to become more aware of your emotions, thoughts, and sensations while performing different tasks or when experiencing different situations – enabling you to embrace what’s happening in the here and now without allowing yourself to become overwhelmed.
Like meditation, mindfulness, and becoming mindful runs through my online course, the thinkmiracle program – a program I designed from my learnings around spirituality to help people like you find your happiness and inner peace.