Are you somewhere in the prime of your life with a bucket list as long as your arm? Do you sit in long lines of traffic each day pressuring yourself to accomplish more, you know, before it’s too late. As each day passes you feel the stress of life’s demands creeping up on you, yet, you have your own goals to accomplish. As your mind races between the chores of the day while the inner you attempts to multitask, you lose focus and the contents of your bucket list are replaced with numerous other thoughts.

When put into play, mindfulness can be a very powerful tool…and a very therapeutic one. According to Harvard Health, studies show that people who practice mindfulness techniques prevented relapses in episodes of major depression. Other studies show that mindfulness is able to lessen anxiety and decrease the physical symptoms that can include hot flashes and pain.

So, what exactly is mindfulness all about? The roots of the technique of mindfulness derive from Buddhism, which teaches people to live in the moment. The idea behind mindfulness is to focus on the present, to pay attention to what is happening in the here and now, and accept it without judgment.

This level of concentration, to pay attention to what’s happening in this very moment, is in itself, an enormous challenge for many who are used to the chaos of our multitasking world. The general concept of mindfulness, though, is the opposite of multitasking. Stress is not only a brain-response, but a full-body phenomenon, which is why people feel stress both mentally and physically.

One of the best ways to counter stress is to pay attention. As simple as this sounds, paying attention to what is going on in front of you at any given moment is the first step to cultivating mindfulness. Driving to work while squeezing in a conference call, or catching up on the daily news while answering emails, are multitasking causes for stress. Too many people rush to accomplish their daily tasks, causing them to break the connection with the present moment. Breaking the connection with the present not only alters your level of attention, it also alters your level of feeling.

Tips to train yourself to become mindful
Narrow your concentration. Sit on a straight-backed chair and focus on your breathing. Once you are breathing slowly, widen your focus by hearing the sounds around you. Allow yourself to feel external sensations, embracing them without judgment. Concentrate on the thoughts that come and go and the things that produce negative and positive feelings.

If you’re new to mindfulness you may find this part of the process to not be relaxing, however, over time, you will become more self-aware. The key to training yourself is to stick with it. Eventually you will become comfortable with the wide range of experiences and thus, enjoy a key to greater happiness.

Learning to become mindful is something that takes regular practice. Make the commitment to be mindful for at least 20 minutes a day, as many days of the week as possible. Don’t aim for making large changes but instead, make small changes. You’ll have a higher rate of success if you start slow and build gradually. Instead of taking it one day at a time, take it one moment at a time.

 

Article Author: Smiljan Mori is the founder of MindOver™ Network, Brilliant solutions for Performance, Motivation and Happiness. He is also the creator of Big U Academy , the Kitepreneur NetworkTM and Kitepreneur Lifestyle Academy . He has literally created a successful business and coaching empire from scratch and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker who brings unparalleled professional experience and the latest scientific research from neuroscience and positive psychology to audiences around the globe. He has shown more than 150,000 people from 50 countries how to change their lives for the better.

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Article References:
Motivaction For Life by Smiljan Mori
Harvard Health Publications

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