Mindfulness & Psychology
In cognitive science, reference is made to learning healthy thought patterns to improve mental function that will impact daily living in a positive way. The cognitive-behavioral link in psychology is also seen in the practice of mindfulness, where you are training your mind to influence your behavior in a certain way.
Mindfulness has been proven to greatly reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. It also gets the mind out of negative compulsive loops, and improves memory as well as concentration.
Everyone knows the feeling of being caught up in your own thoughts, and how this often leads to stress and anxiety. When you are mindful, you take control of that situation by cutting the tracks of the runaway train your thoughts are on. The first step to mindfulness is making a conscious effort to purposely notice things as you go about your day.
This can range from your own breathing, to the flavors bursting in the food you eat, and the feel of clean sheets against your skin as you slide into bed after a long day. This kind of thinking – being totally present in the moment – takes your mind and body off autopilot, and allows you to engage with yourself and the world around you in new and refreshing ways.
Of course, as beautiful as it would be to live every hour of our day in this sense of heightened awareness, it’s not always practical. Professionals in the field advise setting aside a few minutes each day in which to practice mindfulness.
Dedicating as little as 20 minutes a day to the practice of mindfulness will have a positive effect on your mental and physical well-being. Regular
structure will help you establish the habit of paying attention on purpose, and is easier to work into your daily life.
And you don’t have to lock yourself in a room alone to accomplish mindfulness. Go to a new place for lunch and simply observe your surroundings, the people, smells, sounds, and your own thoughts. Awareness of thoughts will lead to greater awareness of feelings, and this is a strength when it comes to managing stress and anxiety.
It gives you power to better regulate what you think, and how your reactionary feelings in relation to that.