Buddha
“The mind is everything; what you think you become.”-Buddha

Why is a Daily Mindful Practice Important?

Do you feel tired, anxious, stressed, sad or unfocused?

Do you feel like you go through the motions of life, cruising in autopilot mode - possibly not living the moments of your life to the fullest or lacking a connection with the beauty of life?

Do you find yourself worrying about the future, feeling anxious over things that have not even happened yet, worried about events that have not occurred or illnesses that have not been diagnosed?

Do you find yourself thinking about the past, wishing things had been different or feeling sad or upset about a particular relationship or event that did not go the way you wanted?

Have you found yourself looking forward to an event such as a vacation, a night out on the town, a holiday, promotion at work, a long weekend, time with a spouse, friend or family member and when that event finally arrived you were not able to fully enjoy it because your mind was preoccupied with other thoughts?

Maybe you can relate so some of these.  We've certainly been through every emotion listed above on multiple occasions and will undoubtedly be there again.  But in dealing with the realities of these feelings in everyday life, if there is one thing we could pass along it would be the benefits experienced from the Daily Mindful Practice. As a result of performing a combination of yoga, deep breathing and meditation on a daily basis (a "Daily Mindful Practice") our happiness, patience and peace have increased and we feel that our lives have a purpose.

It may be hard to believe all we am claiming, but in sharing this practice with many others we have seen them all experience the same benefits. A Daily Mindful Practice can help you access the present moment (for those of you currently having a lousy present I assure you I will help you develop a good present moment to be present in), deepen your awareness, calm the mind, relax the body, reduce pain, anxiety, stress, depression, boost your immune system and possibly help you discover your true self.

 

What is a Daily Mindful Practice?

A Practice is an activity that you perform routinely in order to establish a habit. A Daily Mindful Practice is a combination of practices that you perform daily into order to create mindfulness. A Daily Mindful Practice allows you to take time for yourself each day to connect with your deeper self, focus on what's most important and observe your thoughts from a distance, without judgment.

A Daily Mindful Practice can range from five minutes to one hour depending on the person and how much time they have to devote to their practice. Mindful Body advocates that a Daily Mindful Practice incorporates one or all of the following:

  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation

The Daily Mindful Practice is the cornerstone of the cumulative Daily Practices because it builds the foundation for mindfulness (not that you care what mindfulness is at this point, but just go with it for now).  A Daily Mindful Practice enables you to become more present, relaxed and peaceful as you face life's daily challenges. It also trains you to be mindful, and that mindfulness carries out to other areas of your life; to the food you eat, your physical activity, your relationships and your overall sense of well-being.

 

Why does it Matter?

You probably have many different roles you play in your life.  You may be a partner, parent, daughter, son, employee, or volunteer.  But who are you underneath these roles?  In other words, who are you at the core or the essence of your being? A daily practice helps you see things in perspective.  If you go from place to place, rushing to finish all that stuff on your to-do list and play your role, when you're done you are so exhausted that you just collapse in front of the television and are distracted from ever discovering who you truly are.

By taking time each day to do your Daily Mindful Practice you give yourself the opportunity to stop and look at all your incessant thoughts and emotions. This opportunity allows you time to discover who you really are and what you really want.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are all extremely effective methods for cultivating mindfulness.  When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity.

  • Through yoga we become more aware of the body and often discover parts that are tight, sore, numb or painful.
  • Breathing exercises fill the body with oxygen releasing tense muscles and stress.  By bring our awareness to the breath and taking the time to simply listen to it, we can quiet the mind.
  • Meditation helps calm the mind and increase concentration

 

What are the Benefits?

  • Increased self-awareness - you become more aware of how your body feels, the thoughts going through your mind and the emotions you are experiencing.  The resulting awareness allows you to make choices about how you behave and take the appropriate actions.
  • You create more opportunities to make choices instead of just reacting to circumstances - if you stand back from your emotions, you can view your thoughts from a distance, which creates space for a thoughtful choice instead of an automated response.
  • You switch off an automatic pilot response mode - operating on autopilot is dangerous in the realm of our thoughts.  Our thoughts have a huge impact on our emotions, for instance, a random negative thought could lead to a negative emotion. Then your auto-response might be to react on the negative emotion, even though the thought itself was purely random. Alternatively, if you are consciously aware of the negative thought, you allow yourself to also be aware that you have a choice as to how to react to it.
  • You create a space for new ides to arise - by taking time for each day to connect with yourself deeply, you create room in your mind for new ideas to rise.
  • Increases feelings of peacefulness, calmness and relaxation - If your mind is full of anxious thoughts, your body automatically tenses up.  When your body experiences stress, it has an automatic fight or flight response energy.  All this energy surging through your body causes the muscles to tense up.  When you are mindful, you become aware of the tension and can begin breathing with focus on releasing the tense part of your body.

 

Additional Benefits:

  • Reduces stress, tension and anxiety
  • Reduces depression
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Boost creativity
  • Increases energy and happiness
  • Improves relationships
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases metabolism, aiding in digestion and weight loss
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers heart rate

 

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