The end of the year can bring lots of joy, and a little bit of chaos. The family, the holidays, the travel, the extra expenses… It can be easy to find yourself distracted and caught up in the rush of it all. Which is why it can be a good idea to remember to slow down here and there.
When life presents extra distractions and responsibilities, it’s challenging to physically and mentally check out. But, did you know that there is a technique that you can use to help yourself pause and take a step away from it all? This technique is the art of mindfulness. Mindfulness is, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
So, why practice mindfulness? In this blog, we want to highlight some of the benefits of a mindfulness practice, and how you can start using this technique today!
Benefits of Mindfulness
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
There have been multiple studies that have shown that mindfulness can be effective in management of stress and anxiety. [1-2] Researchers think that using mindfulness as a therapeutic technique can help individuals with anxiety better manage their emotional response to stimulus. Rather than experience stress or anxiety without the tools to manage these feelings, mindfulness can provide the opportunity to slow down, and respond to the negative feelings more effectively.
When distraction around you is rampant, it can be difficult to focus and get things done. Luckily, mindfulness has also been shown to exert a positive effect on focus and cognitive abilities. In one study, it was found that mindfulness techniques helped improve concentration and memory in participants.  In another, participants who used mindful meditation experienced improved focus compared to those who did not use mindfulness.  So, if you’re trying to make it through those last few weeks of work before the year ends, a mindfulness practice just might help bring you to the finish line!
Open-Mindedness and Flexibility
You know this time of year can put some strain on your patience. Mindfulness just might help you with that, as well! In fact, several studies have shown that certain mindful practices can help improve your response to negative situations. [5-6] Rather than succumbing to a stressful situation, certain techniques may allow you to adapt and return to a neutral state more quickly. Don’t let the stress of the holidays
Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Meditation and Deep Breathing
Breathe in. Breathe out. Using deep breathing techniques and meditation is one of the most common ways to practice mindfulness. You can practice these techniques on your own, for seconds or for minutes – there is really no wrong way to go about it! Check out this recent blog for a deep breathing technique that you can try at home.
Have you ever used a mantra before? A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase used to help one concentrate on mindfulness and meditation. This technique is easy – just select a word or phrase that means something to you, and that you can focus on when you’re trying to be mindful. You can speak it aloud, or repeat it in your head as you attempt to slow down, and check out for a moment or two.
Mindful eating is the acknowledgement of, and attention to, feelings around food choices, and feelings of hunger and fullness during mealtimes. It is a great practice to help you slow down your pace of eating, and to find more enjoyment out of the meals you eat on a regular basis. To learn more about mindful eating, check out this blog by Purality Health.
It’s also good to remember that CBD may be an effective tool as well! For a mindful boost, give our CBD Turmeric a try!
- Hofmann, Stefan G et al. “The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review.” Journal of consulting and clinical psychology vol. 78,2 (2010): 169-83. doi:10.1037/a0018555
- Farb, Norman A S et al. “Minding one’s emotions: mindfulness training alters the neural expression of sadness.” Emotion (Washington, D.C.) vol. 10,1 (2010): 25-33. doi:10.1037/a0017151
- Jha, Amishi P et al. “Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience.” Emotion (Washington, D.C.) vol. 10,1 (2010): 54-64. doi:10.1037/a0018438
- Moore, Adam, and Peter Malinowski. “Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.” Consciousness and cognition vol. 18,1 (2009): 176-86. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2008.12.008
- Cahn, B Rael, and John Polich. “Meditation states and traits: EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies.” Psychological bulletin vol. 132,2 (2006): 180-211. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.132.2.180
- Siegel, D. J. (2009). Mindful awareness, mindsight, and neural integration. The Humanistic Psychologist, 37(2), 137–158. https://doi.org/10.1080/08873260902892220