What Is Mindful Thinking?
Today there is so much to take in from the world around us. Sometimes these thoughts are not always positive – which is okay! However, with mindful thinking, we can focus on being more aware about what we are thinking and feeling. This, in turn, can help us relax both our body and mind and reduce stress!
What is the benefit?
Take a moment to write down what you think some of the benefits of mindfulness. What did you come up with?
The obvious answers might be that mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. But did you also know that it can reduce pain, insomnia, and high blood pressure (hypertension)? Additionally, it can help improve attention and sleep and decrease burnout!
Practice Mindful Thinking
It might be daunting to begin to practice mindful thinking. However, there are a few simple ways to begin:
- Pay attention: take the time to experience your environment with your senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste). Sometimes, we get too caught up that we forget to take in our surroundings. One easy way to practice this exercise is when eating. Take note of how your food looks, feels, smells, and taste.
- Live in the moment: Intentionally be open, accepting, and attentive to what you do. Find joy in the simple things.
- Accept yourself: Treat yourself the way you would treat those that you love – with kindness and patience.
- Focus on breathing: If you have negative thoughts, take a moment and close your eyes. Then take a deep breath and focus on your breathing as the air moves in and out of your body. Even doing this for a minute can be extremely beneficial!
If you need a more structured exercise, try these:
- Body scan: Lie on your back with your arms to your side, palms facing up. Intentionally focus on each part of your body from head to toe. Be aware of the sensations and emotions associated with each part of your body.
- Sitting meditation: Take a seat and make sure your back is straight with your feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Then focus on breathing in and out of your nose. Make sure the focus is solely on your breathing.
- Walking meditation: Take a quiet walk. Even if you are inside, find a place with about 10-20 feet in length focus on the sensation of walking. Try to make it a daily habit to go on a walk.
These tips were from the Mayo Clinic. To continue reflecting on your thinking, download the thoughts tracker linked below and start your journey on mindful thinking!