What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means living in the moment and being open to new experiences. When being mindful it is important to be aware of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment.
According to The Greater Good Science Center, studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological and social benefits. These include boosting your immune system, increasing compassion and enhancing relationships.
How do you practice mindfulness?
- Focus on the present. When you recognize you are worrying about the future or the past, practice bringing yourself back to the present.
- Notice where you tend to zone out (driving, emailing or texting, web surfing, feeding the dog, doing dishes, brushing teeth). Practice bringing more awareness to that activity.
- Take time each day to disconnect from technology. Use this time to focus on your thoughts, emotions and relationships with the people around you.
How does mindfulness impact you?
The benefits were very appealing. BJC School Outreach and Youth Development decided to put it to the test. We practiced mindfulness for a week, below are our experiences.
“Paying attention encourages me to be honest about how I truly feel about something. This brings about acceptance and peace or prompts making a plan for change.”
“I struggle with anxiety and a lot of times it interferes with my personal and professional life. What I noticed throughout this challenge was that I was calmer and had a lot more positive energy.”
“Normally when life gets hectic I find myself getting frustrated very easily and a lot tenser than I usually am. While practicing mindfulness I really challenged myself to focus on what was going on around me rather than spending a lot of time on my phone. I focused on my interactions with people, my current moods and processing my own thoughts and feelings.”
Are you ready to take the mindfulness challenge?
We encourage you to take time out of your day, once a day, to become aware of your body, emotions and thoughts. Take notes on what happens and share them with someone.
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