There is such a lot of back-and-forth around mindfulness these days that it is hard to know what’s what, or who believes what. If you are keen to get into mindfulness, you might feel that you are besieged by many different people saying many different things, and that can make it hard to even know what it is in the first place, let alone how to practice it well or get the most out of it. Generally, mindfulness refers to a specific kind of meditation practice with roots in Buddhist Vipassana which has the goal of paying careful and close attention to whatever happens to arise in each moment. So what might such a practice do for you?
An Improvement In Self-Care
Once you start being much more mindful of what is happening in your body and mind at any one time, you will start to notice all sorts of things that you were not aware of before. These little things might include habits of thinking or subtle behaviours which are actually leading to you being unhappy or in pain. Becoming aware of these can be uncomfortable at first, but it is also incredibly useful for trying to live a better life, as you can then be aware of what specific things you might want to try and change. What’s more, it becomes easier to then change those things. This will lead to an improvement in your self-care in general, and that is no bad thing.
A Calmer Approach To Struggles
One thing that mindfulness will never do is remove the ordinary problems that you face in life. Those will always be there and a part of your life, and you should not seek to use meditation as a panacea for such problems, as it won’t work. But what mindfulness can do for you is to help you approach your problems in a way which is calmer and more skilfully insightful. That means that whether you are dealing with a troublesome tax bill or doing something as serious as picking out gravestones for a recently departed loved one, you will be able to do so in a much calmer and more relaxed manner – all while still being as engaged as necessary.
Better Mental & Physical Health
In general, a strong and consistent mindfulness practice will lead to provably better physical and mental health. The research shows that those who meditate regularly have fewer problems in later life with either their mind or their body, and that even something such as their blood pressure is more likely to be at a comfortably and safely low level. It can even help to relieve chronic pain, something that many people suffer with every day. Mindfulness enables you to see your thoughts come and go without attaching to them, and see that, rather than being the thoughts, you are the space in which the thoughts arise. That is a huge discovery for anyone caught in anxiety or depression, which is why it helps with those too.