Self-Care

September 19, 2022

What is Mindfulness?

Overview

Although mindfulness is a buzzword these days, it’s more than just a trend. The practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years and is here to stay- and it can help your mental and emotional health.

Being mindful is being fully present in the moment. You don't think about your to-do list or the movie you watched last night. Your mind is focused on the present, paying attention to the emotions and sensations that arise. In doing so, you’re teaching your brain how to let go of stress and anxiety on a neurological level.

What You Should Know

Mindfulness rewires the brain. Mindfulness is often recommended by therapists, even if they don't use it as part of their therapeutic approach. Evidence suggests that practicing mindfulness regularly can improve everything from pain tolerance to emotional regulation in your brain.

Mindfulness takes practice. Practicing mindfulness can be exhausting at first. Think of it as a muscle. Practicing mindfulness will become second nature over time, and staying in a mindful state will become easier. Initially, start slowly- just a few minutes- and gradually build up.

Why it Matters

Experts still aren’t sure the full extent of the benefits of mindfulness, but here are a few things it has been shown to improve, according to the American Psychological Association:

  • Self-control

  • Objectivity

  • Affect tolerance

  • Enhanced cognitive flexibility

  • Equanimity

  • Concentration and focus

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Self-acceptance

  • Kindness

  • Reduced emotional liability 

  • Relationship satisfaction

  • Self-insight

  • Intuition

  • Well-being

  • Information processing speed

  • Stress levels

  • Working memory

Learn More

You can read more about the benefits of mindfulness at https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08, and you can find mindfulness exercises in the Sokya Resource Library.