Taking time out of your day to practice mindfulness can seem impossible when you have a busy schedule and a seemingly endless to-do list. Luckily, practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be time-consuming and can easily fit into your everyday routine. Mindfulness is the act of purposely focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. This means that instead of dwelling on negative feelings or thoughts that may run through your head while practicing mindfulness, simply take note of them and refocus on the present moment. Although humans are born with the ability to be mindful, it can be easy to rush through life without stopping to enjoy and reflect on the present moment. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to train yourself to naturally incorporate awareness into your everyday routine.
Mindfulness includes processing and interpreting what you are experiencing, whether it be emotional, mental, or sensory. This allows you to savour the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. Taking this time to engage with your feelings and surroundings results in improved well-being. Additionally, mindfulness increases mental and physical health by reducing stress and high blood pressure and increasing your ability to process and deal with emotions.
The connection between mindfulness and stress reduction has resulted in the creation of the eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program which focuses on mindfulness as a way to manage stress, illness, pain and other factors that may contribute negatively to your life. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the MBSR program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre in the 1970s. This program was created using his medical knowledge and knowledge he gained from studying under Zen Buddhist teachers. Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs and classes are offered in a variety of locations from hospitals to yoga centres. Look for programs being offered nearby, or simply practice mindfulness on your own in order to reduce stress and enjoy the present.
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