Be Mindful: 5 Empowering Effects of Mindfulness

Pause for a moment. Bring some attention to the breath. Drop the shoulders. Relax the facial muscles. Release tension in the jaw, tongue, and neck. Now, gently through the nose, breathe in for four seconds… Hold the breath for four seconds, then gently through the nose, breathe out for four seconds… Now, relax and let the breath flow.

Paying attention to the present moment and focusing on the breath and body has many health and positive benefits. Many will ask, “What is mindfulness?” Oftentimes, it is more beneficial to demonstrate the powerful impact of a short breathing exercise rather than explain how mindfulness can help calm the body, focus the mind, and balance emotions. Millions of people worldwide practice mindfulness and have reported astounding results regarding their overall health and wellness.

Here are 5 reasons why everyone should practice mindfulness:

  1. Calm body. Stress reduction is a common reason most people begin practicing mindfulness. Stress can live in the body for days, weeks, and sometimes even years. Bringing attention to the neck, shoulders, or any area where there’s physical tension, reduces stress levels and calms the body. Through stress-reduction exercises such as stretching and mindful breathing, mindfulness helps people foster a healthier environment for themselves, others, and their community members.
  1. Focused mind. Focusing on one thing at a time can get increasingly challenging with so many devices and people competing for one’s attention. Practicing mindfulness can be beneficial in improving and enhancing one’s attention span. Whether focusing on the natural flow of the breath, allowing the body to be completely still or focusing on specific sounds in the room, mindfulness helps increase the duration and ability to focus on one thing at a time.
  1. Balanced emotions. Learning to respond (under control) to people, situations, and the environment instead of reacting (out of control) is a significant benefit of practicing mindfulness. By responding instead of reacting, people can build stronger relationships by having conversations where they can debate, disagree, hold each other accountable, and come to an understanding. Strong emotional reactions to opposing ideas or conflicting points of view are natural. Being able to respond appropriately to those emotions is what makes mindfulness a practice that can cultivate empathy, compassion, and harmony amongst people from all different walks of life and backgrounds. 
  1. Gratitude. The “Gratitude Attitude” is a way to practice mindfulness that helps shift perspective. Focusing on gratitude can help people develop the ability to regularly appreciate the small moments that bring joy but tend to go unrecognized. Noticing the good and positive aspects of life plays a major role in one’s mood, feelings towards others, and ability to carve out a piece of happiness wherever they are. Practice mindfulness through self-reflection and journaling, such as writing 5 things you’re grateful for. Being grateful fosters moments of positivity and allows people to approach all situations with a sense of optimism and enthusiasm.
  1. Compassion. Practicing mindfulness helps people improve their ability to become more compassionate towards themselves and others from moment to moment. Being loving, kind, and understanding are states of being cultivated through self-care, self-awareness, and the ability to experience situations without judgment. Being fully present at the moment, people are more attuned to their thoughts, emotions, and the well-being of those around them, leading people to give themselves more grace while also being empathetic, thoughtful, and tolerant towards others.

Ultimately, there are countless reasons to practice mindfulness. From the myriad of health benefits to being more self-aware and compassionate, mindfulness is a practice that benefits individuals, as well as families and communities.

GAMECHANGER Tutoring Connection’s guest blogger, Mindfulness Coach James B. Samuels is an educator, father of twins, and former professional athlete with a background in psychology and physical education.  Learn more about James here


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