In one respect, mindfulness as a concept is nothing new. If you read the Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, and other works of classic Hindu mythology and spiritualism, you’ll find a litany of references to the ways in which yoga practices can be used to increase one’s awareness and mindfulness. Whether or not you’re a practicing Hindu or find yoga soothing and appealing, modern notions of mindfulness can be quite beneficial.
Some of the most common mindfulness techniques include the following:
- Basic Mediation: This is one of the types of meditation which is presented in works such as The Bhagavad Gita. It involves sitting in silence and focusing intently on your natural breathing or a singular repeated word or “mantra” until your mind and thoughts focus and are relieved of a state of self-consciousness.
- Body Sensations: This type of mindfulness brings you to a heightened state of awareness, where you are able to detect even the tiniest itch or movement. While in this state of mediation, you try to exert total mastery over yourself.
- Sensory-Based: This allows you to become aware and “let go of” your five senses for a brief period.
- Emotion-Based: Similarly, this technique allows you to become aware and “let go of” emotions as you say and purge them from yourself for a brief period.
Among the benefits that mindfulness can offer are the following:
- A Better Outlook: Practicing mindfulness can help you positively engage with others. It can help its adherents free themselves of the burdens of stress.
- Physical Health: Moreover, mindfulness can actually provide tangible help with issues such as relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure and risk of heart disease, reducing chronic pain, and alleviating gastrointestinal problems.
- Mental Health: From a mental health standpoint, mindfulness can also help with a wide range of conditions, including substance abuse, anxiety disorders, OCD, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, and depression.
From their earliest origins, thousands of years ago in India to their modern manifestations, mindfulness and mediation have been and remain versatile practices that can provide tangible benefits to your personal wellbeing.