It’s stressful out there these days! Businesses and schools are closed down; there is no “normal” in anyone’s life right now. COVID-19 has certainly taken a toll on our mental health.
But there is hope, and there is a way to bring yourself back into balance. Try finding time each day to be in the present moment, to be mindful of Right Here, Right Now.
Mindfulness, or the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement, is a key element in overall wellness.
Evidence finds that mindfulness techniques:
• Support healthy blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal issues.
• Relieve stress, which helps regulate emotions so you become less reactive to negativity.
• Improve well-being by making it easier to savor the pleasures in life and be compassionate to yourself.
Some people practice mindfulness through meditation, but you can cultivate mindfulness by simply focusing your attention on everyday activities. Give each task your full attention, whether it’s eating lunch, petting the dog, or sitting quietly. Focus on your breathing, and become aware of sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
The more you practice mindfulness, the more of an effect it will have. Even 10 minutes a day will help you appreciate every moment and support overall health.