Improve your well-being through mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment —without interpretation or judgment.

Spending too much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises, on the other hand, can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and engage with the world around you.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS EXERCISES?

Practicing mindfulness exercises can have many possible benefits, including:

—Reduced stress, anxiety and depression

—Less negative thinking and distraction

—Improved mood

WHAT ARE WAYS TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS?

—Pay attention.

The next time you meet someone, listen closely to his or her words. Think about their meaning and uniqueness. Aim to develop a habit of understanding others and delaying your own judgments and criticisms.

—Make the familiar new again.

Find a few small, familiar objects —such as a toothbrush, apple or cellphone —in your home or office. Look at the objects with fresh eyes. Identify one new detail about each object that you didn’t see before. As you become more aware of your world, you might become fonder of the things around you.

—Focus on your breathing.

Sit in a quiet place with your back straight but relaxed. Feel your breath move in and out of your body. Let your awareness of everything else fall away. Pay attention to your nostrils as air passes in and out. Notice the way your abdomen expands and collapses with each breath. When your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention to your breath. Don’t judge yourself. Remember that you’re not trying to become anything —such as a good meditator. You’re simply becoming aware of what’s happening around you, breath by breath.

—Awaken your senses.

Get a raisin. Sit in a quiet place with your back straight but relaxed. Look at the raisin. Smell it, feel it and anticipate eating it. Taste the raisin, and slowly and deliberately chew it. Notice the way the raisin’s taste changes, your impulse to swallow the raisin, your response to that impulse and any thoughts or emotions that arise along the way. Paying close attention to your senses and your body’s reaction to the raisin might reveal insight into your relationship with eating and food.

For other mindfulness exercises, such as focused breathing, you’ll need to set aside time when you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions. You might choose to practice this type of exercise early in the morning, before you begin your daily routine.

Aim to practice mindfulness every day for about six months. Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.

Just Posted

Canadian recording legends to rock Red Deer’s Westerner Days Friday

Streetheart, Headpins and Holly Wood and Toronto perform tonight

Missing Calgary man spent time in Red Deer

Calgary Police Service seek public’s assistance

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

VICTORIA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is open to proposals… Continue reading

Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S.… Continue reading

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in airline industry

Mandalena Lewis was enjoying a layover in Hawaii with her WestJet co-workers… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Golf Canada’s 2020 Olympic preparations on track with qualifying formula helping

Fifteen years ago, golfers didn’t have to worry about making the Olympics.… Continue reading

Canadian women confirmed for second trip to Rugby League World Cup

TORONTO — Canada has been confirmed as one of eight women’s teams… Continue reading

Tom Cruise surprises Comic-Con with ‘Top Gun’ sequel trailer

SAN DIEGO — Tom Cruise has made an unexpected flyby at San… Continue reading

Warm memories, hit singles: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunite for charity show

TORONTO — Former Guess Who bandmates Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunited… Continue reading

Calgary Stampeders bounce back with 26-16 win over Toronto Argonauts

Stampeders 26 Argonauts 16 CALGARY — Juwan Brescacin hauled in a pair… Continue reading

Chris Sale snaps Fenway losing streak, beats Blue Jays 5-0

Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 0 BOSTON — That was a relief.… Continue reading

Critics and industry clash over accuracy of Alberta well cleanup cost estimates

CALGARY — An Alberta coalition that says oil and gas producers are… Continue reading

Rapelling from great heights to grant Red Deer wishes

Twenty brave individuals will rappel 13 storeys down Stantec Executive Place on… Continue reading

Most Read