Many people are dissuaded from mindfulness because of words like "spiritual." If you are one of these people, you'll probably want to know how mindfulness can impact your day-to-day life. Here are four ways that engaging in mindfulness could help you live a better, more fulfilling life.
Mindfulness can help you significantly improve your performance in a wide number of activities. Whether you want to get better at your job or boost your workouts, focusing solely on the task at hand will help you perform better.
This performance-enhancing aspect of mindfulness makes intuitive sense. The whole idea behind practicing mindfulness meditation is to become anchored to the present moment without worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. When you are not present, you are likely to get distracted by the mind and not focus enough on what you are doing right now.
You are bound to face tough situations in your life at some point; that's the nature of human existence. Periods of intense suffering can often be difficult to deal with without the requisite mental strength.
Mindfulness, by its nature, helps to nurture mental strength. By developing the ability to control how you respond to certain situations, you are increasing your resilience. Becoming mindful helps you to acquire the strength to see and accept life's challenges for what they are and not dwell on them or crumble under the pressure.
Anxiety can make you feel helpless, isolated, and abnormal. Many people suffer from high levels of anxiety and have difficulty dealing with. They often turn to substances such as alcohol, which helps in the short term but ultimately heightens symptoms of anxiety in the long term.
Mindfulness meditation helps to relieve anxiety by quieting your mind. Anxious people are often bombarded by scary thoughts that arise from the mind. A minor headache for a calm person can become a brain tumor in the mind of an anxious person. The goal of becoming mindful is to calm your mind down and stop incessant thinking. When you're not thinking about every catastrophic (and highly unlikely) future event, your anxiety will begin to drift away.
Your mind frequently misrepresents your true feelings about the people closest to you when they make a mistake -- especially when you're not being mindful of your thoughts.
For example, if your partner forgets to cook your dinner, your initial reaction might be one of anger and blame. People often attach negative labels to their loved ones in the immediate aftermath of a falling out or perceived slight. But these labels don't accurately reflect the true feelings of those involved.
Mindfulness helps you foster better relationships with the people around you because you'll be less inclined to react to situations in a negative way and attach undeserved labels to your loved ones. You'll be able to better approach these situations from a place of understanding and compassion, without playing the "blame game."
As you can see, mindfulness can have real, tangible benefits on your daily life. The key is to practice being mindful consistently; take 30 minutes each day to focus solely on the present moment. When you practice for an extended period, you're likely to notice the subtle but clear impact on your life.