How To Practice Mindfulness For Beginners?

Updated November 25, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

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The idea of mindfulness has become quite widespread, and for a good reason. If you're new to the concept, we will explain what mindfulness is, how it can help you, and how you can take baby steps to practice it.

What Is Mindfulness?

Many of us live our lives on autopilot. We may never sit down to look at our thoughts, body sensations, our environment, and everything else in the present. If we do, it may be because we are in a state of anxiety or panic. For example, if we feel an odd body sensation, we may panic and think something is wrong.

Mindfulness is when you can become aware of everything about you at the moment, and do so in a way that is gentle and calming. Instead of going berserk over our thoughts, we don't judge our thoughts and realize there is no correct way to view them. Mindfulness can also focus on the present instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future.

Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept, but since the late 1970s, it's been brought into the Western mainstream in a secular manner, meaning anyone of any belief can practice it. Mindfulness is not one of those bunk sciences, either. There have been many studies that have verified that mindfulness can improve your physical and mental health. 

Here are some ways mindfulness can do that.

The Health Benefits Of Mindfulness

If you're looking to improve yourself physically or mentally, mindfulness can help. Here are a few reasons why.

It Lowers Stress And Anxiety

Some levels of stress and anxiety in your life can be a good thing. It can give you the motivation to do well, and it can be a way to handle our problems. However, sometimes the most benign threat can crank our anxiety up. This can make you feel overstressed and can make your performance worse. To fix that, one thing you can do is to be more mindful of yourself.

Mindfulness can help by lowering anxiety and stress. By learning to let go of bad thoughts and to be aware of the world around you, you can be able to stress less, and see the world more clearly.

Mindfulness Reduces Distractions

Our thoughts can end up distracting us from what we need to do. Our worries about the people around us may make us check social media more often. We may feel distracted as we are worrying about our body or something else. Mindfulness can help by putting your full attention in the present. If you want to be more productive in life and put your time to good use, mindfulness may be able to help.

Mindfulness Helps You Enjoy The World Around You

Going outside and exploring nature is always fun, and with mindfulness, it can be even better. When you're mindful, you pay attention to every little detail around you. The way the wind rustles the leaves. The different sounds of nature. If you're walking on the street, you can hear conversations better, be aware of how you react with changing temperatures and environments. When you listen to music, mindfulness can allow you to hear every individual note as its own.

Mindfulness Can Help You Sleep

If you're having trouble falling asleep, being mindful can help with that. Often, our racing thoughts can keep us up. Mindfulness can help by letting go of our thoughts and being aware of our body sensations. This can allow you to shut down your body with ease after a long day. More sleep can mean you're more alert and willing to take on the day, so definitely give it a try.

Mindfulness Can Just Make You Healthier Overall

By being aware of your body and reducing your stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms, mindfulness can allow you to be physically healthier as well. This is because mindfulness works by allowing you to let your worries float away, easing the burden that worry can have on your body. This can help with your healthcare and allow you to live a healthier life as you age.

How to Practice Mindfulness For A Beginner

Want To Learn More About Mindfulness Tools?

With all that said, how can you get into mindfulness if you know nothing about it? Here are a few simple exercises you can try.

Breathing Exercise

One way to practice mindfulness, or any form of meditation for that matter, is to breathe. You can do this breathing exercise anywhere, making it convenient for any situation. Here's how you do it.

  • Breathe in and out as deeply as you can for six seconds. Inhale using your nose and exhale using your mouth.

  • While you do so, try letting go of your worries. If you have any persistent thoughts, it's now time to let them go. Instead, focus on your breath and your breath alone.

  • If you find yourself getting distracted, no worries. Just gently bring your focus back to your breath. 

  • Keep focusing on your breath and be more aware of it. Feel it coming in and out, replenishing your body of energy.

Breathing exercises can be “mindfulness made easy.” There are many types of breathing exercises you can try, but this is a good one to start with. 

Body Scan

The body scan is another popular mindfulness exercise. It involves complete awareness of one's body. Here's how you do it.

  • Lie on your back and have your palms face up. Your feet should be a bit apart. You must be still, only moving for awareness reasons.

  • First, do some breathing exercises to maintain your awareness. You can do the breathing exercise above if you want, or breathe normally and just be aware.

  • Be aware of your body. How does your body feel? How do the clothes feel against your skin? What's the temperature? Any other sensations?

  • Be aware of the different parts of your body, especially those that feel sore, tingle, and so on. Which parts of your body feel like this? Which parts feel fine? 

  • Go through every part of your body. Some may begin with their toes and then move to their feet, legs, knees, and then end with their head. This can allow you to feel every part of your body with ease. By being more mindful, this can help you see what parts of your body feel fine and what parts may need improvement.

Nature Walk

One way you can be more mindful is to take a walk in nature. As you walk, pay attention to all your senses. Listen carefully to the birds, crickets, or other animals. Watch how the plants move, how the wind affects everything. Be on the lookout for unique smells, or unique bodily sensations. As you walk, feel your feet on the ground.

Move Through The Senses

Try to name:

  • One thing you see

  • One thing you smell

  • One thing you taste

  • One thing you feel

  • One thing you hear

By doing this exercise and repeating it as needed, you can bring yourself into the present moment.

Listen To Music

We all have listened to music, but sometimes we don’t notice all the minute details such as the range of the voices, the different notes, the tempo, and so on. Put on some headphones, get rid of some distractions, and pay attention to the music. Think about the lyrics and the music that accompanies them. Be more mindful of how it sounds. You may grow to appreciate music even more.

Talk To A Counselor

If you're having trouble being mindful, or you just want some assistance, talk to a therapist or counselor. Many therapists may use mindfulness exercises for their clients to help them feel less stressed and live a better life. Letting go of your worries of the future or past can make a huge difference, and you can do so through mindfulness.

Clinical studied have shown that online cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in treating anxiety, in some cases even more effective than in-person therapy. Other studies have raised the point that online therapy can offer high-quality mental health care to people in remote areas, or who can't find a certified therapist in the niche they are looking for.

Takeaway

Mindfulness can be a great way for you to explore the world around you, and anyone can do it. Give these exercises a try, read up on more mindfulness exercises, and see the world for what it is: a grand place filled with sensations.

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