Mindful Monday: The Benefits of Mindfulness

February 23, 2015
Mindfulnesss Quote - Stephenson

Mindfulnesss Quote - Stephenson

Have you noticed that Mindfulness seems to have become quite popular these days?  Are you seeing it mentioned everywhere like I am?  I was surprised to see that it is even a component of the Pete Evans paleo program that I am doing at the moment. On reflection though, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all. In the program they cover good foods and their nutritional and health benefits, exercise/training, and also include mindfulness for a holistic approach to good health and well-being.

How we think and our levels of stress and/or anxiety have a huge impact on our health. I know this from my own experiences!  What we eat and how often we move does not complete the whole health story!

Why is Mindfulness becoming so popular?

Because modern life has become far too hectic!  Our minds never rest and it is impacting on our health – physically, mentally and spiritually!

It’s not just the juggling of busy jobs with family and domestic responsibilities that make life hectic. It is also our monkey minds constantly jumping from one thought to another – our mental ‘to do’ lists; thoughts, analysis and regrets over the past; and fears and anxieties for the future.  Add to all this our modern-day addiction to screen and social media time.  It means we rarely switch off.  Our minds seldom rest and sit peacefully in the present.  Hands up who is still checking their phones in bed at night (Twitter, Email, FB, Instagram, Pinterest and so on)? Do you find yourself dwelling on the past and worrying about the future?  Is your mind constantly racing from one thought to another?

Mindfulness is a way to slow down our busy minds, to breathe, to be present, and to calm and centre ourselves.  We need to ‘chill out man’!!

chill out man

Here is a list of some of the benefits from practicing Mindfulness:

  • It’s proven to help alleviate symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety
  • It helps to slow down an over thinking busy mind (‘monkey mind’)
  • It increases our feelings of happiness and contentment
  • It assists us in changing unwanted habitual reactive behaviours
  • It improves insight and understanding of ourselves (self observation / objective self-analysis)
  • It can improve our relationship with others
  • Improved ability to focus
  • Improved emotional control
  • It can improve our immune functioning!
  • It can help you sleep better
  • It can provide a greater sense of overall wellbeing.

Mindfulness practice can be a powerful tool for achieving an improved overall wellbeing and sense of peace within yourself. It is not complex or unattainable. It is simply a process of waking up to life and being here right now. To achieve the benefits you do need to make a conscious effort to practice consistently.

In my last Mindful Monday post, I pointed out that Mindfulness can be practiced in meditation and outside of meditation. The image below only makes reference to mindfulness practiced as meditation but the benefits it lists relate to both mindfulness practiced in and outside of meditation.

Mindfulness

Are you aware of your monkey mind?  Do you practice mindfulness?  Anyone can – even a busy mum!  We all eat.  We all have showers.  Begin by being mindful in your every day activities – starting with one mindful activity a day.  Refer to my last post for some helpful ideas for starting out.  You are so worth it!

Ciao for now,

Min-Signature

[This post is linked up with One Mother Hen’s – #OpenSlather]

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14 Comments

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 23, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I really need some of this at the moment…monkey mind, hey?

    • Reply Min February 24, 2015 at 6:50 am

      I really needed to practice mindfulness yesterday Lydia … and I did … and it helped! Yep – Monkey Mind! Most of us have it. I know I do! 😉

  • Reply The Exercise Hitlist February 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Ahh this is all so true. It can be so hard to practice mindfulness at times, but like most things just takes time and practice. I have never heard of the ‘monkey mind’, I love it! Beth.

    • Reply Min February 24, 2015 at 6:53 am

      It’s true Beth – we can get so caught up in life and busy’ness and forget to practice mindfulness but I reckon the best way to get started is to find an activity that you do each day and use that to practice it with. It can be when you have a shower. It could be when you eat a meal or when you wash up or when you go to bed at night. One activity in each day and then build from there. 🙂 x

  • Reply Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me February 23, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I’m slowly getting my heads around the benefits of this…

    • Reply Min February 24, 2015 at 6:54 am

      How many heads do you have Em? 😉 x

  • Reply Alicia February 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I have this mindfulness thing at the back of my mind. It is helping me learn my triggers and how to analyse my emotions. I have a long way to go, but it does help.

    • Reply Min February 24, 2015 at 6:58 am

      I have a long way to go with it too Alicia. I’m still learning but doing these Mindful Monday posts is really helping me to become more consciously and unconsciously mindful and to understand it all better. I suffer with terrible anxiety. Yesterday was a particularly bad day and Mindfulness was there to help me through it. It’s a wonderful tool to have! 🙂

  • Reply Toni @ Finding Myself Young February 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    My psychologist refers to my anxiety as my monkey mind because I was always thinking, thinking, thinking and couldn’t stop. I’ve gotten a lot better at controlling it now (although I’m not sure if most of that is attributed to my anti anxiety meds which I’m going to wean off soon, I guess I’ll find out).

    • Reply Min February 24, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Hi Toni – I have anxiety issues too. I also have a very busy Monkey Mind – lots of thoughts racing around all at once relentlessly! Mindfulness is an excellent tool for people who suffer with anxiety and have overactive monkey minds. It takes practice but the simple act of focussing on the breath is enough to help slow down the mind and to chill out the anxiety. Good luck when you go off your meds! Keep mindfulness in your tool belt! 😉 xo

  • Reply Zita February 24, 2015 at 12:05 am

    I totally get the benefits of this and it was something I used to try and instill in my students that would come see me about stress and anxiety etc. I need to get better myself and start practicing what I was preaching!!

    • Reply Min February 24, 2015 at 7:05 am

      It has huge benefits Zita – not just for those with stress, depression or anxiety – but for everyone! 😉 x

  • Reply Leanda Michelle February 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve discovered I can be mindful when cutting the vegetables for dinner, and stopping to stare into space once in a while… I think even the shortest amount of time being mindful helps me to expand this practice further. Like you shared, the monkey mind can be a tad challenging!♥

    • Reply Min February 25, 2015 at 8:16 am

      I’m always finding new ways to practice mindfulness during my days Leanda. In the shower is a favourite and when I first go to bed. Sometimes even when I’m washing up! I agree that the monkey mind can be challenging!! 😉

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