The Meditation Generation: Is it Really that Simple to Be Mindful
Meditation has been around for thousands, of years. Most people have a good grasp on what it is. You sit in a quiet space and focus on your breathing, shutting out all thoughts, worries and concerns. It’s something people around the world use to center themselves on tough days, but millennials have recently put their own spin on it.
Like meditation, the art of mindfulness requires complete concentration. It’s easy to do, which is why it’s taken off as a fad over the last few years. Even with its popularity, it remains a mystery to many people within and without the millennial generation.
Read on to learn how you can practice mindfulness to improve your life and your health.
What Mindfulness Is
Today’s world is all about accomplishing things as fast as possible. Internet searches take less than half a second. People multitask responsibilities with laptops, phones and tablets. Everything needs to happen quickly, which makes it easy to get lost in what you’re doing and let time fly.
Mindfulness puts a pause on everything. It takes your mind off your to-do list and brings it back to the present moment. The point is to focus on your feelings, physical sensations, thoughts and environment. After you’ve processed one of these factors, accept it without judgment and release it to sit in the quiet realm of complete focus.
How to Be Mindful
It takes a bit of practice to get used to the art of mindfulness. It’s hard to rein in subconscious thoughts and redirect your focus, but with time, it becomes second nature. Then you can use your attention to center your spirit, learn something new or even strengthen your resolve.
Here are a few easy ways to practice mindfulness that anyone can do during their day.
1. Practice While You Wait
During your day, do you wait for the bus or in line for something? Those moments are when life naturally pauses, which is the perfect time to be mindful. Skip the urge to scroll through social media or your inbox. Instead, steady your breathing and hone in on a sensation or thought you have. Even if the moment only lasts for a minute or two, you’ll feel centered when it’s time to get moving again.
2. Find a Purpose
Another aspect of mindfulness is recognizing the purpose of what you do. It’s a great approach to take with your kids, since they should always engage in educational activities. Before children go out to play, teach them educational games they’ll enjoy. They can measure sand in their sandbox or count to 10 during hopscotch. Assigning a purpose to their play is an easy way to include mindfulness in their routine.
3. Set Daily Reminders
It’s hard to practice a new habit every day, especially when it’s only something done in your mind. Many people starting out in the world of mindfulness set daily reminders, either through alarms or on their calendar, to get them in the habit of putting life on pause. Try being mindful for 30 seconds three times per day and increase how often or how long you focus when it becomes a habit.
Benefits of Being Mindful
Millennials love mindfulness because it’s easy to do, and it’s also a free way to improve health. Check out these benefits you might experience by practicing mindfulness every day.
1. Fewer Depressive Episodes
Mindfulness redirects your thinking, which is why John Teasdale, Ph.D., found fewer depressive episodes in patients who tried mindfulness techniques. Practice mindfulness when symptoms of depression sneak up on you to regain control over your thoughts.
2. Positive Self-Image
Anyone can practice mindfulness, so the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) ran a study with it on kids. The results showed that practicing mindfulness at an early age gives children a positive self-image and minimizes the anxiety and stress they feel during development.
3. More Physical Awareness
Professionals often recommend mindfulness as a coping technique for people trying to lose weight or recover from eating disorders. When you’re mindful, you check with your gut to see if you’re hungry and savor each bite more. Becoming physically aware of yourself helps defeat bad habits and conquer goals.
Try It Out
Millennials were onto something when they started the mindfulness trend. Try it out for yourself. It’s easy, free and can help in a variety of ways. Get your kids involved with mindful activities to help the whole family benefit from the practice.