What Is Mindfulness?

Meditation at Sunrise

From TV shows to bloggers, from TikTok stars to doctors, it can seem as if everyone is talking about the wonderful benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness reduces stress. Mindfulness improves sleep. Mindfulness helps you maintain a healthy weight. Mindfulness manages depression. And best of all, mindfulness is completely free! Just what is mindfulness all about, and how do you incorporate mindfulness in your daily life?

What Is Mindfulness?

At its essence, mindfulness is about focusing on this one moment you’re in right now, without judgement, with calm patience. That’s it. You don’t have to learn a special seating posture. You don’t have to buy $999.99 worth of crystals. You always have everything you need for mindfulness right here within your own mind. Just pause. Focus. Consider.
As with many things, putting a theory into practice can be challenging at first. We are living in a go-go-go world where cellphones chime and YouTube ads flash. We get trained to judge everything we see – especially ourselves. It can feel nearly impossible to simply consider this one moment we’re in. And even if we manage to be mindful for a moment, it seems too easy to slip into judging what we see and feel. It is all about practice. We didn’t learn to walk in a day. We need to give ourselves time to develop our skills in mindfulness. It’s worthwhile, because the wealth of benefits we will receive are fairly staggering.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Scientists take mindfulness quite seriously. A wide number of studies on mindfulness have been published, and many showcase just how powerful mindfulness can be in healing our bodies. Here are just a few examples of how mindfulness can lift us up.

Chronic Stress – Mindfulness is shown to lower levels of chronic stress. This is a positive snowball type of effect. When we have stress coursing through our system, that stress then triggers a wide variety of other issues, involving blood pressure, sleep, eating habits, mental health, and much more. Tackling chronic stress at its very root can then ease issues you never even considered were related.


Sleep Issues – Sleep is one of those fundamental parts of life which we can take for granted. If we don’t sleep well, we often assume that we can just ‘power through’ the day anyway.

Researchers now know that sleep issues can cause a wide variety of issues with food metabolism, pain levels, and emotional balance. Simply getting a better night’s sleep can cascade to make our entire health system better.

Digestive System Balance – It seems that every day researchers find yet another way that our digestive system and gut microbiome impact how healthy we are. The way we process food mimpacts our blood sugar levels, blood pressure, mood, and energy levels. Mindfulness can support all of these systems in a free, efficient manner. So how do we get started?

How to Begin Mindfulness

While a person who has practiced mindfulness for years can be mindful in any situation at all, for beginners it’s good to start slow. Find a time of day when your world is relatively quiet. Maybe it’s when you lie down at night, or maybe it’s when you have your first cup of coffee in the morning. It will be different for each of us. When that quiet moment comes, pay attention to it. Note the sensations that come to you. The sounds you hear. The sensations you feel. Be aware of them as they come to you – and observe
them without judging. Maybe something will happen to break the moment. Maybe a noise sounds. Maybe you feel discomfort. Be aware of that situation. The key is always to be aware. And then let the emotional sensation go. Whether you’re annoyed or angry or curious, just watch that emotion, and let it drift away like a passing cloud.
At first, when you attempt this, you’ll find you easily get distracted. We all do. It’s the basic state of our brains. You’ll get caught up in thinking about future plans or past issues. At some point you’ll realize you were supposed to be practicing mindfulness. This, too, is part of the practice. Be gentle with yourself for getting sidetracked and return your focus. This sidetracked-and-return loop IS the purpose of this practice. It is the essence of what you are learning to do. It is a normal and natural part of mindfulness.

Breathe

Mindfulness is not something a person masters in a day. It’s a practice that one builds over a lifetime, and every new day brings improvements and realizations. Every day spent with mindfulness improves your health, releases stress, nurtures sleep, supports digestion, and develops calm. Mindfulness is wholly free, requires no health insurance, and it is always available to you, day or night. Create the time to incorporate mindfulness in your daily routine. You will quickly find that the results lift you to heights you never imagined possible.

About Author

Rajul Kaushik

As a result of my journey that spans continents and results in resilience and self-belief, I have navigated my way from self-doubt and social rejection to a senior executive role internationally.

It has been an unconventional path, guided by life’s lessons and invaluable mentors, that has led to key roles at Asian Paints and Ballarpur Industries Limited, and expanded my horizons in international business.

My greatest source of pride? My accomplished children, who embody the values I cherish. My approach is holistic, drawing on a range of methodologies such as Ikigai, Yoga, Mindfulness, Sanskrit Mantra Chanting and Vedic Astrology.

It extends beyond mere problem-solving, emphasizing introspection and forging an authentic path.

Success, I believe, is rooted in attitude, decisions, and meaningful relationships.

I am open to connecting with those seeking personal enrichment, especially within the global Indian diaspora.

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