Mindfulness 101: A guide for relieving anxiety and enhancing happiness

Take charge of your life with this simple self-care practice

 

In our fast-paced, technology-and-media-driven world, it’s easy to feel overstimulated and out of control.

We have access to more information than ever before but, we aren’t taught how to sort through and manage it so that we don’t become overwhelmed.

 

Would it surprise you to learn that one in five adults suffers from an anxiety disorder?

 

It’s alarming.

 

Thankfully, mindfulness gives us powerful, time-tested tools we can use to cultivate self awareness and acceptance.

By practicing mindfulness, we become more resilient and adaptable, so that we can respond intentionally, instead of reacting out of habit.

 

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness refers to our capacity to be completely present in each moment, without judging, labeling or reacting to our thoughts and experiences.

 

Every human has this ability.

 

It is simple, but it isn’t necessarily easy. It take a conscious intention to be more aware and it often requires us to slow down a bit.

 

Mindfulness practices refer to the ways people exercise this ‘mindfulness muscle.’

 

It’s the practice of putting a different lens on everyday tasks. To be more aware of when you tense your shoulders while preparing dinner or to notice your thoughts while in a conversation with a loved one. And when you are more aware, your perspective shifts, and your mindfulness becomes a self care practice.

 

Mindfulness can look like meditation or breathwork, but those are just additional strategies for becoming more aware in each present moment.

 

A mindfulness practice can take many forms but the philosophy behind most have roots in ancient Eastern traditions, particularly Buddhism and Yoga. Now, we can scientifically prove that a mindful perspective shift has massive mental health benefits.

 

 

How Mindfulness Reduces Anxiety

Mindfulness allows individuals to observe their anxious thoughts and physical sensations without becoming entangled in them. This distance from our anxiety is liberating. It empowers us to recognize that we are not our thoughts or emotions, and we have the capacity to choose how we respond to them.

 

Mindfulness offers a ray of hope. By grounding us in the present moment, mindfulness helps us quiet anxious thoughts and deal with reality as it is, without worrying about what we think reality should be.

 

Instead of getting lost in the “what-ifs,” we learn to accept our feelings without judgment and focus on something that we can control, like our intentions and our breath.

 

 

How Mindfulness Increases Satisfaction and Happiness of Life

 

Mindfulness can guide us by helping us savor the simple pleasures of life and cultivate gratitude.

When we’re not rushing, worrying or ruminating, we can be more fully present. This allows us to appreciate the beauty in everyday moments. This heightened awareness of life’s small joys can significantly boost our quality of life.

By fostering self-awareness and self-compassion, mindfulness enables us to better manage our emotional responses and build resilience in the face of adversity.

A mindfulness practice can quickly become part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It’s just another small thing you choose to do each day to set yourself up for success. What matters is how you do it.

 

 

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

 

Set an intention:

Begin with a task you do everyday – like brushing your teeth. Set an intention to brush your teeth slower, so you can be more aware of how you go through the motions of teeth brushing. Once you get good at being present while brushing your teeth, try adding mindfulness to another daily task, like eating breakfast or taking a walk.

 

Breath Awareness:

Your breath is always with you. So becoming more aware of how you are breathing is an extremely effective way to cultivate the practice of mindfulness. Start by simply observing your breath as it goes in and out. The breath is an excellent anchor for your awareness. When your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your breath. Start with a minute a day, then gradually increase. If you want to learn more about how to begin a breathwork practice, click here. Or follow-along with this 2 Minute Daily Breathing Practice.

 

Try meditation:

Dedicate a few minutes each day to mindfulness meditation. Click here to check out a short Guided Relaxation Practice called Yoga Nidra.

 

Mindful Eating:

Practice eating without distractions. Savor each bite, and pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food.

 

Gratitude Journal:

Keep a journal where you write down three things you’re grateful for each day. You’ll be amazed how fast you cultivate a more positive outlook on life.

 

 

Start Today

By embracing the present moment and letting go of judgment, we can all alleviate anxiety, enhance our mental health, and find joy in the simplest of things. Embark on a journey of self-discovery and start incorporating mindfulness into your self care routine today. Your future self will thank you for it.

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    Hi, I'm Jessi McMaster!

    holistic health, fitness & yoga coach.

    From traditional strength training to Yoga, from nutrition to sound healing, it is my mission to make the full range of wellness tools accessible for everyone.

    In 2013, I made a transition from the corporate world to running my own health & fitness coaching business.

    Today, I use mindful movement & exercise to not just train people’s bodies, but to enhance their overall experience of life. As a Holistic Health & Fitness Coach, I help people reframe their relationship with health to one that better supports the modern lifestyle.

    I help busy go-getters, entrepreneurs & companies adopt healthier lifestyle choices that fuel creativity, productivity & overall well-being. It’s one thing to “check the fitness box,” but it’s another to do it in a way that keeps you pain-free & motivated!