Today, many of us find ourselves overworked, stretched with family obligations, exposed to 24/7 news cycles, and worried about the future. These stressors, among many others, can lead us to feel emotionally exhausted and leave us vulnerable to developing psychological conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Science indicates mindfulness – often defined as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement – can help.
Maintaining present-moment attention can be challenging. It is important to remember that mindfulness is a skill that can be learned and practiced through meditation and in daily life.
Human beings are wired to plan for the future and reflect on the past. Multiple studies have found that many people spend 30 to 50 percent of our waking hours thinking about the past or the future.
Benefits of Mindfulness
People who have higher levels of mindfulness tend to experience:
- Better sleep quality and physical health.
- Lower depression, anxiety, and perceived stress.
- Fewer psychological healthcare visits.
Like physical exercise, the benefits of mindfulness meditation depend on regular rather than sporadic practice. With regular practice, incremental benefits are within your reach.
If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and trying a brief guided meditation, visit Seven Tips for Mental Fitness and click on “7 Tips to Manage Stress and Improve Your Mental Wellness” to access an introductory mindfulness video.