We live in a world where everything is done in a fast-paced manner, the reason why we are always stressed out. This has an impact not just on our minds, but also on our bodies. We talked to a mental health specialist about how mindfulness, meditation, and mental health affect our brains, bodies, and overall well-being.
Stress is a natural reaction to some circumstances, especially those that are worrisome. But when it becomes chronic, it imposes the risk of having an effect on our immune, cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive systems, and sleep, resulting in a variety of symptoms, according to the National Health Institute.
According to Dr. Leo Rastogi, co-founder and mentor of AYAM, we tend to focus on things like stress, anxiety, and some sleeping issues when it comes to our mental health. It is, therefore, critical to consider what constitutes healthy mental health.
Although it is a fact that one-third of the world’s current population currently struggles with mental health issues, we must also take into account those who do not have these problems but want more joy, peace, and quiet in their lives.
Therefore, it is only right to teach individuals how to handle stress, get out of a crisis, and make a difference by providing basic tactics and tools that they can apply in 5 or 10 minutes a day.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is often popular as an awareness of the present moment. It is a couple of practices that help you become more aware of the present moment and help you realize where you really are.
Most of us, according to Dr. Rastogi, often encounter a similar situation: if we are silent for even a minute, our minds are typically thinking of two things. One, we contemplate the past, we think about what was done and what went wrong. And two, we think about the future. How we can improve. What we should do to avoid the same mistakes that we did in the past.
With that in mind, since we are always torn between thinking about the past and future, we sometimes forget to live in the present and actually enjoy it. This is what usually causes anxiety and stress. The goal of mindfulness is to fix that.
Plus, mindfulness doesn’t only aim to make you appreciate the things that are currently happening in present. It also trains you on how to boost positive feelings such as happiness, gratitude, calmness, forgiveness, and peace, while lessening the negative ones like fear, hate, anxiety, and depression.
How do you practice mindfulness?
You don’t need any extra items or apparel to practice mindfulness; all you need is your breath and your body. Focusing on our breathing is the most important thing to do in order to improve it and maintain this state of consciousness.
When you pay attention to your breath, you can assist your mind to become peaceful and centered. When your mind gets more focused, your body undergoes physiological changes and your stress levels drop.
After that, you must be aware of everything that is going on within and through your mind, as well as be able to let go of your emotions and thoughts without being addicted to them. For example, if you’re excited about a trip that you’re going into this weekend, you need to let go of that thought as you can’t do anything about it for the present time.
Finally, take note of how your body is reacting. When we are aware of how our bodies hold stress and worry, we gradually learn how to be at ease. You will be more present and aware if you combine your breath, body, thoughts, and feelings.
How will mindfulness affect your overall wellbeing?
There are some things we can do to help ourselves feel better. Consider this as a quest for the best possible existence for yourself, as well as the well-being of your entire being, including your thoughts, emotions, body, vitality, and connections.
As a result, not only should we feed our bodies, but we should also engage in stimulating activities. We all have things that make us feel better, as Dr. Rastogi points out, such as sipping a cup of tea, going out for a walk with our pet, or as simple as reading… things that we often forget about when we’re busy, but is necessary to include on a daily basis.
Also, our physical, emotional, and mental health should all be taken care of. We can add mindfulness and meditation activities to help us deal with our emotions and thoughts more effectively. The trick is to do it on a daily basis, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.
Finally, it’s essential to take at least 2 minutes per day to check in with ourselves and recall that everything will be alright, that life is good, and you have been blessed in several aspects of your life. All while focusing on your breathing.
To learn more about mindfulness and meditation, visit the Maryland Mindfulness website.