Here is why mindfulness gets the #1 spot in this list of what activates well-being:
It has unique ingredients compared to other forms of relaxation or meditation.
This study concluded “mindfulness meditation may be specific in its ability to reduce distractive and ruminative thoughts and behaviors, and this ability may provide a unique mechanism by which mindfulness meditation reduces distress.” This article cites research that shows mindfulness actually changed the body while relaxation exercises did not. Although both led to participants reporting feeling less stressed, only mindfulness showed healthy changes in the body that lasted for months after the study.
It’s simple. Just noticing what is happening – with a kind, curious attention and without judgment – is the simple instruction of mindfulness.
Simple but not easy for those of us who are really good at “doing.” We are conditioned to try hard and get it “right” when learning something. Noticing, not doing, is the practice. The challenge is getting out of our own way and not trying so hard.
It’s portable. Because it is just about noticing, you can bring mindfulness into any activity. Driving, washing hands, in the shower, when walking – any daily activity is a way to practice.
It’s a small investment. Just 10 minutes a day is like strength training for the brain – it actually trains the mind to react less and notice more.
- Set aside a few minutes to sit and notice your breath each day this week. Try this simple noting practice if you would like some guidance.
- Choose one activity you do every day, such as washing your hands, and try being mindful for it this week.
May You Be Well,
Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CHWC
Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Health and Wellness Coach
Yoga and Meditation Teacher