What Is “Mindfulness”?

Woman practices mindfulness alone in room

Just a few years ago, the term “mindfulness” burst onto the scene. It seems like everyone these days is talking about it, offering a workshop, or taking a course. But what is “mindfulness” anyway?

Sure, it seems simple: take some deep breaths and get on with your day. Many programs promise to deliver quick results in just a few moments. Although not a false claim, there is more to mindfulness than a five-minute break. Here’s how it works.

What Is Mindfulness Meditation?

The practice of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism. Nowadays, the conversation surrounding what mindfulness meditation is has made its way west.

Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand. Meditation is a practice that develops mindfulness as a skill set. The list of benefits is long and many companies have adapted mindfulness programs in order to boost employee wellness and performance. Learning what mindfulness is can help you refocus your energy and enhance a variety of areas of your life. Brightmind’s mindfulness app and expert teachers can help you capture many more benefits of this amazing practice through a carefully planned curriculum.

Woman sits on chair at beach during sunset

What Is Mindfulness Used For?

Concentration

In the age of technology, thoughts come and go frequently. Interruptions and distractions are everywhere. Although multitasking seems productive, it’s actually a one-way ticket to burn-out. A successful mindfulness practice helps you prioritize what is at the top of your task list and do the important things first.

  • Meditation and mindfulness can help you focus on one thing at a time while letting other thoughts go.

  • Many practitioners find that their concentration increases with daily mindfulness practice.

  • Mindfulness teaches you to avoid distractions and focus on important tasks versus unimportant tasks.

As your focus improves, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself achieving more in less time as you zero-in on the task at hand.

Stress Relief

Perhaps you find yourself beginning your day with good intentions, but not being able to switch off until bedtime. The next thing you know, the entire day has passed, and you have no idea what was actually accomplished. This is a common symptom of stress, and the most successful practitioners know what mindfulness meditation is doing to combat it. Not only is stress a hindrance to forming positive relationships, but it is also a major health concern.

Mindful meditation can help take you out of the “fight or flight” mode and forces you to stop and notice thoughts instead of reacting in the moment. Put simply, mindfulness encourages equanimity—the ability to allow sense experience to come and go without push or pull. What mindfulness is trying to achieve is balance. With a successful mindfulness practice, stress is finally put in its place, allowing you to recognize its appearance and then move on.

Colored pencils in varying shades of blue

Creativity and Openness

Mindfulness can help you create a more open mind and encourages a growth mindset. It also opens a space in your mind for creative thinking.

Mindfulness can help you put down your phone and enjoy the scenery as you explore the park and walk around the neighborhood. It can help you to find silence in your mind, which can lead to the creation of your inner voice

Many distractions take our minds out of the present and decrease creativity. In everyday life, it might look like “falling into a rut”. Getting out of the rut means trying something new, even if you aren’t sure what that is. Mindfulness can help you find the best way to instigate change.

Relief from Chronic Pain and Illnesses

People often turn to meditation and mindfulness practices in times of health crisis. Mindfulness can help individuals cope with pain and uncertain outcomes so that they can focus on positivity and living in the moment.

More specifically, what mindfulness meditation can offer is the ability to be open to experiences involving pain as a natural part of life. Using effective mindfulness practices, you can recognize unwanted feelings, acknowledge that they are there, and then let them pass. Using mindfulness to unpack the uncertainties and stress related to a negative medical diagnosis can ultimately lead to a happier, more accepting outlook on your diagnosis or illness. Mindfulness can help us notice these uncomfortable feelings and then let them go to make space for more positive, healthy feelings.

Starting Your Own Practice

There are many ways to establish an effective practice involving mindfulness. What is helpful for one practitioner may not be as successful for another. Like any new habit, it’s important to schedule your mindfulness practice at a time that works for you. Several practitioners make their mindfulness practices a morning routine, while others prefer a bedtime practice to help gain a restful sleep. Here are some other great ways to make sure your mindfulness practice is successful:

  • Schedule your practice on a calendar or planner to help you stay accountable.

  • Find a meditation teacher or buddy to help you learn.

  • Use an app to track your daily progress or customize your routine.

  • Experiment with different mindfulness practices to see which one suits you best.

Now that you have a better foundation of what mindfulness meditation is, explore Brightmind’s mindfulness strategies now and see how you can fit them into your personal routine!

christian stillerComment