First of all, give yourselves a round-of-applause for getting through the last few months, 2021 has definitely been pretty stressful! This year, I want to try and in-cooperate more psychology into my blog and so I thought I’d start March off with some positive psychology. 2020 was a very challenging year for many of us and 2021 hasn’t been any better and so I want to share some simple wellbeing exercises we can all try to help our mental wellbeing.
So, I thought I’d start this month on a high note and how better to do that than talking about mindfulness? I’m sure you all have come across the term mindfulness but maybe you don’t know much about it or you do but want to know about other practices you can try, so this post will hopefully give you a small introduction into the world of mindfulness as well as some simple exercises you can try at home.
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. Knowing what you are doing while you are doing it, is the essence of mindful practice (Jon Kabat-Zin).
There are 7 principles of mindfulness: non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go. In mindfulness practice the individual uses elements of mindfulness meditation to develop their self-awareness and their understanding of what is happening in the present moment.
There are many benefits of mindfulness, first of all it teaches us that we cannot change the past nor have full control over the future. Therefore, mindfulness practice teaches us to accept situations that are out of our control. Developing mindfulness is also associated with improvement in psychological well-being (Brown, 2007), improvement in attention and concentration (Jho, 2007) and reduction in experiences of anxiety and depression (Grossman, 2004).
Here are some simple mindful exercises you can try at home:
- Mindfulness Minute – stop for one full minute. Become aware of your breathing and bodily sensations – allow your mind to settle.
- Mindfulness Eating – eat 1 or 2 meals every week alone, in complete silence. Slow down – pay close attention to the tastes and textures of your food.
- Mindfulness Breathing – for a few minutes a day, take time to breathe slowly and purposefully. Breathe for the count of three, hold and breathe out for the count of three.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you do try any mindful practices at home, I’d love to hear all about it! For those of you who want to know about mindfulness and some of the research conducted in this particular field, I have referenced some interesting articles below.
- Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Emotion Regulation in Social Anxiety Disorder – Goldin and Gross (2010)
- Interventions of Reduce Stress in University Students: A Review and Meta-Analysis – Regehr, Glancy and Pitts (2013)
- Does Mindfulness Meditation Improve Anxiety and Mood Symptoms? – Toneatto and Nguyen (2007)
Hope you have a lovely day and I’ll see you soon with another post