As a caregiver practicing mindfulness can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing. In this article, we will investigate the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how it can reduce stress and increase our ability to focus.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the act of being aware of your current surroundings and experiences. Similar to meditation, mindfulness has been described as the awareness of “some-thing” while meditation is the awareness of “no-thing”. Practicing mindfulness can affect one’s ability to concentrate, be objective, self-controlled, and relate to others with kindness and compassion. In this article, we will delve into this fascinating topic.
Practicing mindfulness requires a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience. Mindfulness is a mental state where an individual can calmly acknowledge and accept their experience of the moment without any judgement. It is used as a therapeutic technique whereby focusing on one’s thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in the present moment one can gain more clarity. It can even rewire the brain towards more positive thoughts and emotions.
How to practice mindfulness
There are really no limits to what you can be mindful of. Therefore, practicing mindfulness can occur in just about any activity you do. By acting with awareness we can begin the practice of mindfulness. Observe your breathing, go for a walk in nature, do some gardening, listen to the sounds around you, or do a body scan. That is, notice any sensations you are currently feeling in your body. There are also a wide range of mindfulness tools and apps available. These apps guide you through exercises to improve your ability to be mindful.
Use each of your senses to experience a variety of mindfulness practices. For example, using your sense of sound to listen to someone speaking. Tune in to what is being said without the need to form a reply. Simply listen without judgement and bring your full attention to the words that are being spoken. Try not to be distracted by your own thoughts and feelings. Reflect on and observe your own responses during this exercise. For example, notice how it felt to listen. Ask yourself if you were distracted. Were you able to bring your attention back to the present moment? Did your mind judge what was being said? Did you feel any other emotions as you continued to listen? How did those emotions feel in your body?
Activities to practice mindfulness
In addition to the activities suggested above try including meditation, yoga, TaiChi, swimming, breathwork, or prayer to your regular activities. These activities will encourage your physical and emotional wellbeing and decrease your risk for compassion fatigue or burnout.