What Is Palouse Mindfulness?
By: Jessica Saxena
Updated February 03, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
With the world running at breakneck speed, getting overwhelmed by your thoughts is surprisingly easy. This can lead you to become frazzled, stressed out, and even depressed. Practicing mindfulness can help keep you centered without spiraling out of control.
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What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is when you're completely in the present moment. Your mind isn't worried about your future or regretting the past. Instead, all your senses are focused on what's around you. For example, when you are walking outside in the park, you hear every sound, and your eyes are digesting the details of what is around you.
Mindfulness is more than just a popular trend. It actually has significant health benefits if you practice regularly, which we will discuss below. If you've thought about maybe jumping on the bandwagon, you're not alone. In 2012, a study found that 8% of US adults used meditation to focus their attention. This number has only risen as media coverage of the various mindfulness practices has grown. If you're feeling overwhelmed, join the millions of others that have already started focusing on the present.
Mindfulness can be achieved in many ways: meditation, breathing exercises, changing how you see the world, and so on. Many people can be more mindful if they put their, well, mind to it. Mindfulness originally started as a Buddhist practice, but over the past few years, it has been brought to the West as a more secular practice.
While mindfulness is a topic that is gaining a lot of media attention and is quickly being adopted by individuals, it is important to note that all of the media coverage on mindfulness uses the phrase as an umbrella term that encompasses several different practices and techniques to quiet the mind and bring awareness to the present. Palouse mindfulness is just one of these many mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques. It is a free course available online that aims to make mindfulness available to the masses, regardless of financial or logistical constraints.
The Benefits Of Mindfulness
Mindfulness has quite a few benefits, including:
- Increased empathy. When you're mindful, you're focused on the world around you, and you can practice more empathy than you have in the past. You'll learn how to help people in the present moment instead of worrying about yourself.
- Enhanced senses. Have you ever stopped and looked at the world around you? Gave it a good observation? Being mindful means that you are more aware of the sights, feelings, smells, and other senses that surround you.
- Fully focused on the now. There are many benefits to this. First, you're not letting worries control you. If you do have a concern, you learn how to let it go and instead live in the present. Our worrying thoughts can keep us stressed or awake. Being mindful means we can sleep well every night because we realize that we can't change everything, and that's not a bad thing.
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. While it's not a magic cure, being mindful can impact how you worry or stress about the world. By looking at the here and now, your anxious thoughts of the future can be overrun by thoughts of the present.
- Choose how you react to a situation. You may believe that you make conscious choices when it comes to how you react, but for most people, you are on autopilot. When you react to something, it's knee-jerk, and often, you end up regretting it. Mindfulness allows you to react in the most logical way possible. By putting your worries to the side, you can then figure out how you should react to them. Some may believe that mindfulness means running away from your problems, but this isn't the case at all.
- Be happy for good. Many of us believe that if we could just accomplish or win that one thing, we will be happy. If we could just get in a relationship or win the lottery, everything would be better. However, the happiness you have is just temporary. Instead, what you need to do is to change how you feel. Mindfulness can allow you to be happy by changing how you think. Mindfulness works on the brain by changing how it sees happiness and finds the good in each situation.
- Keep your mental health strong. The biggest, most important part of your life is good mental health. If you allow your mental health to deteriorate, then you may have problems with your health as you grow older. It's important to keep your brain sharp in order to live a good life as you age. Mindfulness helps by keeping your mental health as high as possible. Whenever you're having a hard time with life, a sharp mental outlook can allow you to make good decisions.
Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to be effective. This isn't one of those religious practices that just has witness testimony to back it up. Instead, science, and the people who study it, back it up with research and statistics. Mindfulness has been proven to help you out in many ways, including:
- Heart disease. By being mindful, you're reducing the toll you have on your heart. This allows you to live a longer, healthier life with less heart problems.
- Cancer. While mindfulness can't magically prevent cancer, you can learn how to manage it better if you have it. A better attitude may increase your chances of surviving.
- Chronic Pain. For those who have chronic pain, mindfulness works by allowing you to feel your body sensations and look for the cause of your pain. Alternatively, it can teach you not to focus on the pain so much, giving it less power over you in the long run.
- High Blood Pressure. If you have high blood pressure, being mindful can lower it and help you reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Mood and Memory. Being mindful can have a positive effect on both your mood and your memory, allowing you to live a much better life.
- Respiratory Disorders. Being more mindful means careful, controlled breathing. This can help your respiratory problems- such as asthma.
- Headaches. If you have chronic headaches, being mindful can help with those by allowing you to focus on something else or by helping you figure out the cause.
These are just a few benefits of mindfulness. Now, let's look at Palouse Mindfulness. How is it different than normal mindfulness? Let's find out, shall we?
What Is Palouse Mindfulness?
Palouse Mindfulness is a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course. But why is it called Palouse Mindfulness?
Palouse is the name of the northwest region of the US. You think of Idaho or Washington when you think of Palouse. Palouse is known for its rolling hills, which are described as gentle. With the seasons, the hills will change and adjust to the world around them. The nature of the Palouse area has given birth to the name Palouse Mindfulness.
Palouse Mindfulness is free. There are no strings attached. No claiming it's free, but then only showing you the first few exercises. You don't even have to give any info to access the course. The person who created Palouse Mindfulness, David Potter, just wants to help people, and he does that by not cheating you out of any money.
How Long Is The Course?
The course is about eight weeks long, and it's good for anyone in any stage of mindfulness. You don't need to be a mindfulness master to understand the courses. Every week, you're given videos and articles that explain mindfulness quite well. The course provides you with information that is easy to understand but is not overwhelming.
Do You Need To Be A Religious Person?
The good thing about Westernized mindfulness is that it's mostly secular. You can be a Christian, atheist, Jew, Pagan, or any other religion and still reap the benefits of mindfulness. Instead of a religious belief, mindfulness is focused on the thoughts you have. The idea of the course is that those self-defeating thoughts are bunk. You don't need to believe them or let them consume you to live a good life.
Yoga And Mindfulness
Yoga plays an important part in this course. There are different "assignments" you work on in throughout the course. These include body scan, meditation, controlled breathing, and finally, yoga. Why is yoga so popular, especially in the world of mindfulness? When it comes to yoga, it can involve subtle introspections into the inside of your body. You may notice the subtle changes in your body, such as your thoughts, feelings, perspective, and sense of self. When you go through different postures, it allows you to look into your body even more.
Is Palouse Mindfulness A Quick Fix For Your Problems?
You may wonder what will happen after those eight weeks. Will you permanently be fixed, or will it require much more training? The answer is that mindfulness is a lifestyle, not a trend. You must learn how to be mindful for the rest of your life. One must aquire patience to maintain mindfulness; you can't just give up if you're not better after only a few weeks.
Other Ways to Integrate Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life
Practicing Palouse Mindfulness is not the only way to practice mindfulness and get peace in your life. Here are several other daily practices that will help you integrate mindfulness into your daily life.
You can benefit both physically and emotionally by writing in a journal. This practice is known to help you sort out your thoughts and help you better understand your feelings and emotions.
Set Daily Goals
Setting small daily goals helps you break down larger, long-term goals. This helps you continue moving forward towards your bigger goals, while keeping you focused on the present and giving you a sense of accomplishment when you achieve them.
Exercise gives you endorphins that automatically help improve your mental health, while also helping you stay physically healthy. Focusing on how you are feeling while you exercise can help you stay in the present and also help you let go of other distractions.
Your smartphone is keeping you constantly connected, pinging you, and keeping you engaged as much as possible. Intentionally disconnecting can help you enjoy the present moment and interact with your environment and those around you- without the constant interruption.
BetterHelp Can Help You Be More Mindful
Palouse Mindfulness, as well as other forms of mindfulness, can help with a number of different mental issues. Studies have even found that mindfulness therapy can be as effective in treating clinical depression as antidepressants. While it is certainly possible to practice mindfulness on your own, getting help from a therapist can help you reap the full benefits of mindfulness. BetterHelp has licensed counselors available to help you work through your problems. They can also help you develop the necessary habits to integrate mindfulness into your daily routine.
The best part about getting help from BetterHelp is that is completely online. This means you can connect with your counselor via messaging, chat, phone, or video, whichever way is most comfortable for you. Online counseling makes getting help more accessible, as scheduling is flexible, and it is also more confidential than traditional counseling- since you can get help from the comfort of your own home rather than going into an office. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"This is my first experience with counseling, and Delishia is a fantastic fit for me. She is super attentive and caring, and it's no problem for me to open up to her. She has really started me on a path to getting to the bottom of my issues and making a daily practice of mindfulness and self compassion to help overcome my anxiety and issues with anger."
"Steve has been integral in introducing me to grounding techniques, encouraging me to seek out mindfulness, and is always supportive in my own strides to foster a healthier lifestyle."
Live In The Present
Regardless of the challenges you are facing in life, living in the present moment can help you focus your attention and cope with the situation. Palouse Mindfulness is designed to help you do just that, but if you feel you need a bit of help getting the results you desire, BetterHelp counselors are ready to help you. A more focused and healthier state of mind is possible - all you need are the right tools. Take the first step today.