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In today’s rush, we all think too much, seek too much, want too much, and forget about the joy of just being.
– Eckhart Tolle
I think the above quote really says it all. Due to our modern way of living and rushed and busy lives, we seem to spend too little time just being. We seem to have gotten lost in a sea of work, social media, and a technological world that can easily consume us if we allow it to. Mindful living can really help.
I’ve written for many years about the importance of mental health and wellness. If we spend even 1% of the time we spend on the busy things in our lives and our careers, then we would be able to become much happier and more satisfied with the life we live.
In this article, I will explore how to use mindfulness to improve your mental health. What is it?
Mindful living is very simple. It is the skill of enjoying the moment and living it in full. This sounds very easy to put into practise, but if it were, we’d all be happy, stress-free, and fulfilled people with complete balance and harmony between the different aspects of life.
Your mental state has the power to improve or destroy your health and wellness. The aim should be to spend equal amounts of time on your physical and mental health. Work should never be an excuse to neglect yourself. You need to prioritise both of these aspects of your health before they become a problem.
So let’s explore what the experts say and what I have experienced that has taught me how to live better. My aim is that my experience can help you out and open your eyes to a new and healthier way of living and thinking.
Let’s first think about how the mind and body are connected.
Understanding the Mind-Body Connection
There is confusion about this connection. It is not simply a physical or chemical connection between the brain and the body. The mind is so much more than the brain, and we could argue that it is outside of the body.
But let me stay on track here and not get into philosophy about what the mind is and what the brain is!
The important thing to understand is that there is a strong relationship between your mind and your general health. This is a two-way interaction because if you are not in a positive frame of mind, your physical health can suffer.
In the same way, poor health can have an impact on how you think and feel. There is a clear connection between mind and body. Eastern religions and philosophies talk about chakras to explain aspects of this connection.
So how can we use this connection between mind and body to improve our overall health? We will consider this question carefully here, and I’m sure you’ll find it valuable, so keep reading!
The Impact of Mental Health on Overall Wellness
Let’s talk more about the mind. A healthy mind is important because it can improve not only your general health but also how you feel inside. This affects your relationships and how you live your life. A healthy mind can promote better decisions and a more positive view and understanding of the world and your part in it.
Mental health is of increasing importance in our society as we observe the problems that can come from poor mental health. I would argue that many of the problems we see in the world today are connected with mental health issues and wrong thinking.
I feel that many, if not most, of our world leaders right now have mental health issues that are causing them to act in very dangerous and confused ways.
But what exactly is mental health?
In my opinion, we all need to be honest about our mental health and do our best to make sure that society is doing much more to help those who are suffering from poor mental health.
What is wellness?
I would define it as an inner sense of well-being and positive mental health. Improvements in your mental health will improve your wellness. Wellness can improve your physical health and make you a much more productive and creative person.
Besides seeking help from a professional or getting therapy, there are many complementary things you can do to improve your mental health. Let’s start by looking at one of the most important: mindfulness.
Managing Mental Health through Mindful Living
I once read an amazing book by Edward Tolle, The Power of Now, that explained how I could bring mindfulness into my daily life and benefit from it. His book is very powerful and has helped millions of people harness the power of living in the moment.
If you still haven’t read this book, then I suggest you go get a copy now. Here’s a link to the book available on Amazon:
If you do buy from this link, I’ll earn a small commission, which helps to support my work on this website. Thanks for your support!
Finding Balance: Mindfulness for Emotional Well-being
The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
I don’t remember exactly where I read this, but there is something about mindful living that has always stuck in my brain. I think the reason for this is that it struck me as being so true. This is what I read:
Do this now:
- Stop what you’re doing right now, no matter how troubled or confused you are, and calm down for a moment.
- Stop your thoughts from racing and relax. Look around you and appreciate what is there.
- If you are unhappy or anxious, chances are that you have been thinking either about the past or worrying about the future.
- Bring yourself into this moment and think only about now. Are you comfortable? Is everything around you good and familiar?
- If you stop the noise in your head and come into the moment, you’ll see that right now, you have no problems at all! You may have had problems before, or they might lie ahead, but right now everything is fine!
This is mindful living, and its power is that it removes worry and stress from what has happened and what might happen. The only thing that is real is now.
The Journey to a Happier Mind: How Mindfulness Can Help
Is there any scientific evidence to show that mindfulness makes you happier or that it helps you in a positive way?
Scientific research has shown that mindful living can have a significant positive impact on mental health.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that mindfulness-based interventions can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. For example, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that mindfulness-based therapies were effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression across a range of populations (Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, and Oh, 2010).
Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindfulness meditation was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain in patients with chronic pain conditions (Goyal et al., 2014). These findings provide strong evidence for the effectiveness of mindful living in improving mental health.
So what can you do to improve your mental resilience?
Bringing Mindfulness into Your Daily Routine
Here are three steps you can take to practise mindful living each day:
- One way to include mindfulness in your everyday life is to start your day with a mindful morning routine. This can involve setting aside a few minutes each morning to engage in activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or gentle stretching. By starting your day with mindfulness, you can cultivate a sense of calm and focus that can carry you through the rest of the day.
- Another way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine is to practise mindful eating. This involves paying close attention to the sensory experience of eating, such as the taste, texture, and smell of your food. Slow down and savour each bite, being fully present in the moment. By practicing mindful eating, you can develop a healthier relationship with food and enhance your overall well-being.
- A third way to include mindfulness in your everyday life is to take regular mindfulness breaks throughout the day. This can be as simple as pausing for a few moments to focus on your breath, observe your surroundings, or check in with your emotions. These mini-mindfulness breaks can help you reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and improve your ability to respond to challenging situations with clarity and composure.
Try these three steps today and see what a huge difference they can make!
The Journey to a Happier Mind: How Mindfulness Can Help
Here are some other ways that mindful living can help you:
- It can reduce stress because you’ll think less about past regrets or future worries.
- It boosts concentration, makes you more emotionally aware, and helps you avoid distractions and become more focused on what is important now.
- It can help you become more self-aware and kinder to yourself. Self-respect will help you heal.
- It can help you live a more balanced life because you will react less and be able to cope with emotions more constructively.
- Mindfulness can improve your sense of well-being and will make you look at your life and the world around you more positively.
- Focusing on now rather than worrying about the future or the past can create a sense of gratitude, which will enable you to feel more joy every day.
Exploring Different Mindfulness Techniques for Mental Health
There are so many more opportunities to use mindfulness every day. The techniques you can use are unlimited!
Here are two more techniques that are less well-known but very effective that you can try out:
One lesser-known technique for increasing mindfulness is body scan meditation.
This involves focusing your attention on different parts of your body, starting from your toes and moving up to your head. As you scan your body, you should observe any feelings or tension without judgement. This technique helps you develop a greater awareness of your body and can be particularly helpful for individuals who struggle with chronic pain or physical discomfort.
Another technique for increasing mindfulness is sensory grounding. This involves focusing on your senses to bring your attention to the present moment. You can start by noticing the sensations in your body, such as the feeling of your feet on the ground or the temperature of the air on your skin. Then, expand your awareness to your other senses, such as the sounds around you, the smells in the environment, and the taste of the food you are eating. By fully engaging with your senses, you can anchor yourself in the present and cultivate a greater sense of mindfulness.
Hofmann SG, Sawyer AT, Witt AA, Oh D. The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010 Apr;78(2):169-83. doi: 10.1037/a0018555. PMID: 20350028; PMCID: PMC2848393.
Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EMS, et al. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):357–368. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018
Experienced researcher/ writer/ life coach with personal experience of dealing with a number of health issues including acid reflux and digestive issues. I help people find natural ways to improve health and nutrition.