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Community Advocacy Organization

Tips to Practice Mindfulness

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You may have heard of the term ‘mindfulness’ in the last few years. Mindfulness has gained attention in the last few years. Although the practice has been around for centuries, it has become more popular as many have found that practicing mindfulness has myriad of benefits.

Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It means bringing our full awareness to each moment. For example, focusing only on the present moment and bringing your full awareness to what you are seeing, hearing, thinking, smelling, feeling in only the present. The practice and philosophy of mindfulness has been around for centuries and has origins in Buddhist and Hindu teachings. It was even used as a technique on the journey to spiritual “enlightenment”. However, practicing mindfulness does not have to equate practicing any religious philosophy. Mindfulness has myriad of mental, emotional, and physical benefits.

Since mindfulness has shifted into modern science and medicine, numerous studies have shown the concrete benefits of practicing mindfulness in healing and in everyday life. One of the key figures who has aided in brining ‘mindfulness’ to the mainstream is Jon KabatZinn. Kabat-Zinn traveled to Asia, and studied mindfulness under several Buddhist teachers, and was a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts. He realized through his work, that practicing mindfulness even reduced stress and pain, and began to integrate mindfulness as a therapeutic technique through programs such as the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, and even high blood pressure.

There are many simple ways you can practice mindfulness. One of the starting practices, is to focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts or if you feel overwhelmed, bringing your attention to your breath is practicing mindfulness. As you focus on the breath, and more oxygen is sent to your body and brain you will start to notice the negative feelings or experience are lessened and in time they cease. Mindfulness techniques can be practiced anywhere and are cost free. There are endless ways to practice mindfulness, and the benefits it can bring to your everyday life are endless as well.

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