Finding pockets of relaxation in our increasingly busy lives has become one of the biggest challenges of modern life. We’re always plugged in to the goings on in the world. And because of this, we’re more stressed, more anxious, and more bone-achingly tired than ever before.
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Inner peace can be achieved by mastering relaxation. And the best way to do that? Mindfulness. In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into the profound benefits this practice has to offer. And how to practice it in your everyday life.
Let’s get into it.
So, what is mindfulness? Well, at its very core, mindfulness is the act of being fully present in each moment without judgment. Originating in ancient Eastern traditions like Buddhism, it’s since been scientifically validated as a fundamental tool for improving mental health. By cultivating awareness of our thoughts, feelings and sensations through mindfulness we acquire tools to better deal with life’s numerous obstacles
Mindfulness has been widely researched, especially in recent years. And these studies show it leads to decreased stress, improved emotional regulation, heightened focus and just generally a more positive well-being. By practising mindfulness regularly, you’re training your mind. Training it to let go of negative thought patterns, reduce your reactivity and embrace the present moment.
The Science Behind Relaxation
Relaxation has long been associated with improving our wellbeing. Because when we relax our body undergoes some pretty amazing physiological changes that support healing and restoration. Cortisol levels decrease, reducing heart rate, blood pressure levels lowering, and muscle tension release.
Relaxation activates the parasympathetic nervous system; more commonly known as the “rest and digest” response. This counters your stress-driven fight-or-flight reactions by bringing balance back. Many studies have proven the beneficial impact of regular relaxation practices on our mental health. It leads to reduced anxiety, depression and can even improve overall cognitive performance.
Establishing relaxation as part of our everyday lives also serves as an immune booster, enhances sleep quality and helps us deal with stress head on. We can create relaxing atmospheres with candles, lighting, delta-9, and diffusers. But one of the best and most effective ways to relax in our hectic modern lives? Well, it’s by practising mindfulness of course.
Mastering Mindfulness Techniques
There are a few really practical and calming mindfulness techniques we can seamlessly introduce into our everyday routines.
Let’s investigate a few useful practices:
Deep breathing is an easy and hugely influential way to relax. First, try diaphragmatic breathing. This means inhaling through your nose in deep, slow breaths until your diaphragm fully expands then exhaling slowly through the mouth.
A body scan involves paying really close, mindful attention to all the different parts of our bodies. Start at your toes and move upward. By being present for any sensations, tension or discomfort without judgement, we can release any tension built up in the body and start to relax fully.
Mindful meditation is one of the key tenets of mindfulness practice. For this, you need to be sitting comfortably. Concentrate on breathing deeply, and returning your attention back to that focus whenever our attention wanders from it. With a bit of consistent practice, you’ll learn inner peace and serenity.
Integration Of Mindfulness Into Daily Life
Mindfulness’ true essence lies in applying it to our daily activities and not simply sitting still during meditation. So living mindfully is key.
Here are a few ways you can give yourself the gift of mindfulness everyday:
While enjoying your meal, make an effort to enjoy each and every bite by paying close attention to its taste, texture and aroma. Chew slowly and be present during each mouthful of food. It’ll feel odd at first but don’t give up.
When you’re next out on a walk, focus your awareness on every sense. Pay attention to your feet hitting the ground, the movement of your body and the sounds surrounding. Doing this can turn ordinary strolls into enriching meditative experiences.
Be it driving yourself or using public transit, take your commute as an opportunity for mindful observation of surroundings. Use breathing practices to reduce any stresses or impatience during your travel time and increase your awareness.
Mindfulness Can Be A Challenge
Like any practice, mastering mindfulness presents its own unique set of obstacles. It’s difficult to stay consistent or still and it’s easy to feel discouraged when we don’t see results right away. Finding a way over these obstructions is part of the journey, so don’t feel pressured or defeated when they appear. Because they will appear!
One really effective strategy to overcome challenges is by showing yourself a bit of self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and understand it’s normal for thoughts to wander. In fact, it’s what the brain naturally does. So every time you bring them back into focus, you’re actually doing the work to strengthen your mindfulness muscle.
Finding an encouraging community or mindfulness group can be invaluable if you’re struggling alone. Sharing experiences and insights with like-minded peers will motivate and inspire you to maintain your practice. Plus, they can help you overcome obstacles because they’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt!
If you’re searching for a calmer and more fulfilling existence, the art of relaxation and mindfulness can cut through the noise. By dedicating time and energy toward cultivating mindfulness daily in our lives, we can unlock the elusive inner peace.
Mastering this journey will change everything around you, because it’s the present moment that offers true relaxation.