Among the many health trends that come and go, Mindfulness is one that I believe has had a big impact and has come to stay. Globalization, particularly by means of the internet, has allowed knowledge to be easily transmitted; there are no hidden places anymore. Superfoods, detox & cleanses, DIY products and other health advice are now a click away. Make sure to inform yourself correctly and do some research before believing anything you read on the net. Today, we dig a little into mindfulness and why it is trending so much.
What is mindfulness?
It is a modern movement that has Buddhist roots. It means to maintain a moment-to-moment awareness, to actively pay attention to the present. This practice allows you to observe your thoughts and feelings, without judging them good or bad.
Jon Kabat-Zinn clinically innovated this practice and created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, launched in the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. The success of this program has inspired schools, prisons, hospitals, veteran centers and more to adapt this to their own.
Some benefits of practicing Mindfulness
- Boosts our immune system
- Reduces stress
- Increases brain gray areas of learning, memory, emotion regulation and empathy
- Improves our memory and attention skills
- Fosters compassion and altruism
- Enhances relationships
- Can help people fight obesity
How to practice mindfulness?
Even though Mindfulness can be cultivated through formal meditation, it is all about actually living in the present, aware that life is now. Here are some tips to practice Mindfulness:
- Pay attention to your breathing, especially when feeling intense emotions.
- Stop for a moment and notice everything around you: the sounds, the colors, the smells, everything.
- By recognizing that our emotions and thoughts do not define us, we can learn to let go and free ourselves from negative thought patterns.
- Tuning into our body’s physical sensations, leaving the mind aside, we can achieve more present awareness.
Taking care of ourselves includes all areas, including our mental and emotional states. Look for online mindfulness programs and start practicing today! Also, learn to make some easy detox smoothies and your own DIY winter moisturizers for your skin.