Mindfulness and Self-Care (9 Easy-To-Do Examples)

A woman has her eyes closed and looks calm with her hands on her chest

When I teach other people about mindfulness I tend to get a lot of blank stares.  

Although the topic of mindfulness has become even more popular over the last few years, I find many people still don’t actually understand what it means. Those few who do know what it means often only think of it as yoga, and meditation.  

And while yes, those are two examples of some helpful mindfulness activities, being mindful is so much more than that. 

Mindfulness is one of the most useful tools when it comes to self-love and self-care.  

That is why in this post we are going to look at exactly what mindfulness means,  what are some benefits of mindfulness, why mindfulness is an important part of self-care, how to practice it, and some mindfulness examples that we can use in our daily lives.

What is mindfulness? 

Being mindful means being fully aware of our thoughts, feelings, and any sensations we might be feeling. This helps ground us in the present.

Instead of stressing about something stupid that we said earlier that day, worrying about what we are going to cook for super, or daydreaming about the future or plans we have next week, we are intensely focused on things as they are happening right at that exact moment.  

Mindfulness is a way for us to stop everything that is happening in our busy lives and simply be.  

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

1) It decreases stress

Stress causes way more problems for us in our lives than we probably even realize.

According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness is useful for decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety.

2) It can decrease depression

Mindfulness can help reduce the symptoms of depression and prevent them from coming back in the future.  

You may have heard of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) before, however, there is something called Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) that combines CBT and mindfulness practices such as yoga, breathwork and meditation.  

Studies have shown that MBCT can not only reduce the symptoms of depression, but it can prevent the symptoms of depression from returning as effectively as antidepressants. 

3) It improves our memory

A popular study done in 2019, a comparison was done between people that took a creative writing class, and people that did mindfulness training. Memory tests given to the participants showed that those that did the mindfulness training showed improvements in their short-term memory.

These findings showed mindfulness can also help us learn, reason, and problem-solve better.

4) It strengthens our relationships

Mindfulness has also been shown to improve relationships. This is because people who practice mindfulness are more accepting, and instead of trying to change their partner, they simply accept those differences as a part of who they are.

5) It improves our physical health

There have been many different proven benefits to our physical health when it comes to mindfulness. Some of them are:

  • Reducing pain in those with chronic pain issues
  • Improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia
  • Help with type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improved energy levels

6) Gives us better control over our emotions

Mindfulness can help us to identify and gain better control over our emotions. This gives us a way to deal with our emotions in a healthy way, instead of resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Why is mindfulness important for self-care?

Not only is mindfulness and important tool for self-care, but it is an important area of our emotional self-care. When we practice mindfulness it allows us to be much more in control of our feelings and in touch with ourselves.

How to practice mindfulness

The easiest way to practice mindfulness is to simply close our eyes and focus on taking deep breaths. By simply focusing on every time we inhale, and exhale, and how those sensations feel in our body, we ground ourselves in the present.

Mindful activity examples

There are many different ways that you can add mindfulness to your daily routine. However, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Drawing
  • Breathing exercises
  • Trying a digital detox
  • Spending time in nature
  • Yoga
  • Use your five senses to ground you at that moment
  • Taking a mindful shower or bath

Mindfulness is a great way to empty your mind. Especially if you deal with anxiety, overthinking, or ADHD.

There are many different opportunities to practice mindfulness in our daily lives. But if you are a beginner, it is important to remember to be patient with yourself.

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