What is mindfulness? Which has benefits? As practiced? We answer all your questions about the mindfulness or mindfulness meditation technique.
Stress has already been recognized as one of the diseases of the 21st century. A disorder that is not only responsible for numerous cardiovascular, digestive, and neurological conditions, but also the cause that we cannot enjoy a higher quality of life. For some reason, it is often said that happiness is incompatible with stress.
The responsibilities and routine of the day-to-day cause many people to be affected by stress. Fortunately, several techniques and therapies have emerged in recent years that seek to alleviate and reduce stress. And one of those that currently have a greater number of followers is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness
Mindfulness is a relaxation and meditation technique from Buddhism that helps us greatly reduce stress. But, in turn, it can also come in handy to ease the symptoms of certain psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. Not surprisingly, mindfulness reduces people’s negative emotional states and increases positive feelings.
The mindfulness technique is based on focusing on the present moment to accept our emotions as they arise, without trying to control or avoid them. In this way, it is possible to eliminate the frustration or anxiety produced by the fact of facing a situation that we cannot change or modify, no matter how hard we try.
The main objective of mindfulness is to equip ourselves with a method to learn how to manage emotions, reactions, attitudes, and thoughts to face the situations that arise in life. All this we will achieve from practice and the perfection of full consciousness. The curious thing about this technique is that, despite being a practice that is very fashionable nowadays, its origins must be looked for at the end of the 7th century BC. A moment in history closely linked to the emergence of Buddhism.
How to do mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice that we can do in multiple ways. Precisely, there is no one way to do it, hence different exercises can be carried out. The ideal is to have a quiet space without noise that can distract us. We can achieve this both at home and outdoors in an environment where nature and vegetation are present.
Once we have such a space, we must sit with our backs straight so that no muscular tension bothers us. Some people practice mindfulness sitting in the lotus position. Along with good posture, you must know how to control your breathing. Deep and slow breathing helps to oxygenate the body and relax. But, also, controlled breathing exercises will allow us to focus our attention on something concrete in a sustained way.
Once sitting with your back straight and breathing deeply, we close our eyes and focus our attention on those little things that occur in our body: palpitations of the neck or wrist, the way the eyes move, etc. Small stimuli that do not demand general attention from us. Little by little, and as we master the technique, we can expand the focus of our attention to reach certain life experiences.
However, you should not play or value these experiences, just think about them and accept that they are part of reality. The latter is the most important part of mindfulness since it is the moment in which this technique will help us to face past experiences in the best way.
The benefits of mindfulness
Mindfulness provides a series of more than interesting benefits for those who practice it. We have already discussed its advantages in reducing stress and anxiety, as mindfulness reduces cortisol levels, a hormone that is released in response to stress.
People who practice mindfulness live in a state of calm and serenity that benefits both physically and emotionally. The calm mind of people who do mindfulness is more likely to generate new ideas. This is why it is a technique that encourages creativity.
On the other hand, it is an ideal technique for those who suffer from insomnia and for those who need a greater capacity for concentration. Besides, it helps us to get to know ourselves, to investigate within ourselves to evolve and enjoy greater well-being with emotional intelligence. This enables mindfulness to influence the improvement of interpersonal relationships.
Finally, mindfulness improves working memory and makes us feel much more confident when it comes to carrying out our daily tasks.