Inevitably most self guides to happiness nowadays will show that to live a fulfilling and satisfying life, coming into mindfulness is key.
We hear and see the word “Mindfulness” frequently and understand the basic benefits that it provides us.
Being able to control your mind peacefully and let meditation bring you to a mindful state is not the easiest task to do in a busy lifestyle.
There are increasingly proven benefits to meditation and mindfulness and researchers are now understanding the impacts it has on how we react to certain emotions.
A study has shown that different groups of participants – one being exposed to routine of mindful practice and the other having no practice whatsoever, had significant differences when it came to handling emotions.
The research found decreases in activity in the medial prefrontal cortex when mindfulness was practiced. This region of the brain is associated with our thinking and self-evaluation – the part that works the most when we are stressing and over-thinking.
In mindful practice, it was found that the activity shifts from this region to the lateral prefrontal cortex – improving positivity and helping one concentrate on the present moment rather than blame and doubts.
To further prove this point, the participants were shown sad film clips which heavily triggers the greater medial prefrontal cortex.
Those who hadn’t practiced mindfulness were once again, focusing on self-evaluation and negative thoughts. The latter however, were able to move on quickly from the sadness and shift their focus to not drown in their emotions.
If you think you may need some tips on being mindful, here are 3 simple steps that will provide you a way to a happier mind.
1. Try to be mindful from the get-go.
Start your day focusing on the importance of being alive on the current day and bring positive thoughts that you are grateful for into your awakening hours.
2. Practice slowly.
We can all reach a mindful state but there is absolutely no rush to get to enlightenment. Try to meditate for 5 minutes and then increment it by another 5 minutes when you feel you have the hang of it.
3. Find prompts to remind yourself to be mindful.
Whether it be a post-it on your desk, a phone reminder or a plant in your room – associate certain times and things with the practice of mindfulness. It will help you to continue practicing.