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How Mindfulness Can Help You Develop Mental Fitness

The quote by Ayya Khema "Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering." beautifully sums up why mindfulness is so therapeutic.

Mindfulness is shown to be especially helpful in treating various types of depression, addiction, rumination, obsessive behaviors, PTSD, and anxiety.

This article looks at some specific ways mindfulness is good for our mental health and fitness.

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The Two Keys to Mindfulness

By practicing mindfulness, you become more aware of the present, and more accepting of what is.

Mindfulness is a deceptively simple way of relating to all experience that can reduce suffering and set the stage for positive personal transformation.

It is part of our Therapeutic Lifestyle program because it has so many applications including, helping us gain control over our thoughts and shifting how we perceive challenges we face.

1. Mindfulness Helps You Reframe Challenges

Based on a CBT technique, I will teach you how to reframe your perception of your condition. This will be enormously helpful to the healing and growth process you're embarking on. The most important thing reframing the challenge does is free up that energy you used to use for overthinking so we can redirect it to mindfulness exercises and other brain rewirement --things that actually help!

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~Wayne Dyer

2. Mindfulness Makes Forming Habits Easier

You will benefit from mindfulness in quite a few ways. Your concentration, creativity, self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-control will all improve.

And with that self-control, you'll acquire other skills to help you form good habits... like the ability to step away from tempting treats, give up foods and drinks that are not great for you without being left feeling deprived, or as if you gave up something.

3. Mindfulness Is a Great Brain Rewirement Tool

One of the main benefits of mindfulness is its ability to rewire the brain. When you practice it consistently, mindfulness can strengthen the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making, problem-solving, and emotional regulation.

On the other hand, it weakens the amygdala, the part of the brain that triggers our fight-or-flight response.

By rewiring these neural pathways, mindfulness helps us become less reactive to stress and more capable of responding with calmness and clarity.

4. Mindfulness Helps to Reduce Stress

We build into the program, daily mindful and self-care assignments to help you relieve stress. Some examples of stress-busting mindfulness are social connecting exercises such as checking in on loved ones when you're feeling up for it.

At the end of my weekly Mindfulness Meditation class, you will also select and commit to doing one thing from that week's list of Scheduled Joy assignments to do; most are fun and nature-based such as making homemade ice cream or watching a sunset.

5. Mindfulness Helps Us Cultivate Inner Peace

Much of our work together will be us working on the inside and by practicing mindfulness daily, we develop a greater sense of inner peace and harmony.

This inner peace benefits those who struggle with rumination and other obsessive behaviors because where there is peace, there is less emotional chaos, wants, cravings, and resistance.

Compassion is hacked when you study mindfulness because it encourages us to be kinder and more patient with ourselves.

By developing self-compassion, you can let go of self-criticism and look to understand your behavior instead. This produces a more self-compassionate version of yourself who will also be a more peaceful friend, companion, and person to be around.

What is Mindfulness?

You can think of mindfulness as a "mindset" that when you live by it, can help you realize a sense of peace almost as soon as you start practicing it.

Watch this 4-minute video to learn a little more about what mindfulness is and how these kids use it (that's right, kids!).

Mindfulness is a Daily Practice

Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism and while it's not theological, the practice itself can over time, move you into that devotional approach to your well-being.

As its own contained lifestyle, mindfulness resembles the yogic lifestyle in many ways and the key to both is a commitment to them. This commitment means daily practice.

I recommend this daily practice schedule for beginners. Over time, or on some days, you may choose to lengthen one or more of these, but that's totally up to you.

  • 5-minute meditation

  • 2-minute mid-day check-in, and a

  • 30-minute end-of-day routine

The Mindful Bedtime Routine

I also highly recommend a mindful bedtime routine (the one I share with clients is a blend of self-care, gratitude, and self-hypnosis).

If you work with me, we might even run through this routine together, which I will do either one-on-one or with up to three other clients at a time.

About 90% of clients benefit from self-hypnosis. One client Claire told me that after three months of doing self-hypnosis right before bed, she no longer wanted to drink alcohol. Another client who struggled with insomnia for over two years began sleeping better in a few weeks, and now is a champion sleeper!

Mindfulness also has various tools which are helpful in navigating everyday life such as the body scanning technique, mindful listening, mindful eating, and more.

Get a subscription to the Vurb Wellness Emotional Health and Growth program and begin a mindfulness practice today.

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