Why mindfulness is important may seem obvious once you understand what mindfulness is. Don’t be fooled! Many people use the words mindfulness and meditation interchangeably. Meditation is a mindfulness tool but is NOT mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely setting your attention on something. For example, it can be an object, your surroundings, your feelings, a person, or the sensations in your body.
Why Mindfulness Is Important
Mindfulness is about calming your mind and living in the present moment. However, you will experience many life-changing benefits from becoming more mindful.
1. Mindfulness Improves Your Well-Being
As you become more mindful, your satisfaction with life grows because you improve your physical and mental well-being.
Being more mindful enables you to use your mind’s power to be healthier. For example, you will learn to make better food choices as you become mindful of how your body reacts to poor food choices. You will learn to pay attention to your hunger cues and stop eating when you are full. Your body talks to you. Learning to listen will promote your physical well-being. Furthermore, the state of your mind impacts your body. Specific emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, embarrassment) can be linked with particular health outcomes (e.g., cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disease).
Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
2. Mindfulness Teaches You to Enjoy Life
You can learn to enjoy life again using mindfulness. As you practice living in the present moment, you take in everything and make the most of your time. Here are some ways to practice this:
- Pay attention: Practice listening to others with more intention. Open your mind without judgment.
- Rediscover the old: Look at your familiar surroundings and find something new you never noticed before.
- Remember to breathe: As you draw your attention to your breath, you will often notice that it is shallow. Take a few cleansing breaths.
- Lift your chest proud: Most walk around, never noticing our stance. Lift your chest, and feel tall and proud.
- Listen to your senses: Take a moment to absorb sounds, colors, smells, and sensations.
3. Mindfulness Enables You to Be Truly Present for Others
When you learn to become mindful, you absorb each moment with those you love. You are more present for them, you pay attention to their conversation, and remember what matters most. You learn to eliminate distractions and create meaningful interactions.
4. Mindfulness Changes Your Brain
Did you know that mindfulness has the power to modify your brain’s structure? Mindfulness practices like meditation can reduce age-related brain degeneration and improving cognitive functions. You can change your brain’s neural pathways using mindfulness as you practice creating new thoughts. Moreover, neuroimaging studies have demonstrated structural changes in many brain regions relating to paying attention and regulating your emotions when people practice mindfulness.
5. Mindfulness Helps You Regulate Your Emotions
Besides improving your overall mental well-being, mindfulness can be a powerful tool to regulate your emotions. This doesn’t mean not experiencing certain emotions. Rather, it means developing a certain self-awareness to notice your emotions and become curious about their meaning. This awareness then enables you to self-regulate.
Avoidance, suppression, and rumination are associated with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. On the other hand, acceptance, attention, and intention lead to the decreased mental proliferation of other negative emotions (which leads you to ruminate on your emotions).
6. Mindfulness Enables You to Make Better Decisions
Mindfulness makes you more self-aware. It increases your emotional intelligence and facilitates the decision-making process. Making decisions becomes a thoughtful process that doesn’t rely on impulses.
7. Mindfulness Is Essential to Reach Your Goals
And guess what? Once you develop self-awareness, you become better at working consistently to reach your goals. You become in a position to develop the self-discipline to achieve those goals.
How to Be Mindful
Becoming mindful is not complicated, but it takes practice. Try the simple tips in the Enjoy Life section above and learn mindfulness meditation and other components, such as body awareness, yoga, and psychoeducation.
Also, don’t forget to check out my free guide How to Master Your Mindset in 7 Days.
Why Mindfulness Is Important Video
The reasons why mindfulness is important will improve all aspects of your life: your health and well-being, your relationships, and your enjoyment of life. It will even transform your brain! The best part is that becoming mindful is a simple practice that anyone can learn. So can you!