Why is mindfulness important?
Mindfulness is a practice that allows space to acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It quiets your thoughts, helps you feel grounded and present, and focus on what’s truly important to you in your life. The science behind mindfulness backs up its benefits, showing mindfulness practices can help cure a myriad of ailments, including mental health struggles. By practicing mindfulness, you can improve your mental health which in turn allows you to better support loved ones who may be struggling.
“You can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself.”
How can you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life?
If your goal is to clear stress and anxiety and create more joy and ease in your life, mindfulness is a great place to start. What’s so wonderful is that there are many different mindfulness approaches you can employ to achieve results. You just have to find the approach you enjoy and one that works best for you. If at first you don’t succeed…don’t be afraid to pivot and try a different approach.
A study found that those who practiced mindfulness meditation over an eight-week period had a change in their genes that improved their skin, regulated inflammation, circadian rhythms, and glucose metabolism. If meditating has the power to alter us physically, imagine the benefits to our mental health! Quieting the mind for meditation can be challenging at first. Gratefully, apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided meditations, bringing peace of mind and helping you relax, feel grounded, and even sleep more restfully. Some meditation apps are free, while others may require a minimal monthly fee. Check out this list of meditation apps and perhaps you will find one that works for you.
2. Coloring and Paint-By-Number
Coloring and paint-by-number projects aren’t just for children. In fact, both can be extremely helpful and therapeutic for adults suffering from anxiety or simply needing to relax and turn their brain off for a bit. You don’t have to be an artist to benefit from coloring or painting. There are many fun-themed adult coloring books and paint-by-number kits, including some with intricate patterns and designs, or some that are quirky, bordering on slightly ridiculous, and others centered around animals and nature, and so on. Find one that looks intriguing and let the relaxing and creating begin!
3. Being in Nature
When you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, you may not feel like getting outside and going for a walk, but it can be especially helpful for those suffering from anxiety or depression. Even a short walk outside can be helpful. Notice your senses by feeling the breeze and sunlight, smelling the fresh air, listening to the sounds around you, and releasing all obligations for a brief moment. The bonus is that taking a walk is free and available to you at a moment’s notice.
4. Practicing Gratitude.
Taking time each day to acknowledge what you’re grateful for can elevate your mood and lower stress. Take a moment before bedtime to think of three or more things you are grateful for. You can even find a journal to help organize your thoughts. Practicing gratitude can help you reframe your thoughts to focus more often on the positive aspects in your life.
5. Daily Intention Setting
Start your morning by setting an intention for the day. During yoga classes, the instructor will generally ask the class to set an intention. The goal is to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. If something makes you more anxious than usual, try to set an intention to slow down and work towards feeling more grounded. Setting an intention can help get you the results you want, closely aligned with your thoughts, values, and perspectives.
How Mindfulness Changes Your Life
Committing to regularly engaging in a few of these practices can help transform your thoughts for the better. Aside from relieving stress, mindfulness has been shown to improve other symptoms and diseases, like irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you find yourself struggling to integrate mindfulness practices into your daily life, we’re here to help. Creative Counseling Center employs the best therapists in the Denver metro area to support you with whatever challenges you are facing. Use the form below to request a Free Phone Consultation and a member of our team will contact you. Together, we’ll decide whether one of our therapists is a good fit for you. We have openings this week and look forward to connecting with you.
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