Why You Should Take The Time For A Regular Mindfulness Session
Sometimes, life gets overwhelmingly busy, and it becomes easy for one day to melt into the next. Before you know it, you’re wondering where the months have gone. It’s never been more important to incorporate mindfulness into our everyday lives than it is right now. With a YOGAMIGOS mindfulness session, you’ll learn how to quiet your mind and become more aware of the present moment. If you’re looking to regain clarity, peace, and focus, you should consider a session with a YOGAMIGOS mindfulness teacher.
What Is Mindfulness, And How Does It Work?
Mindfulness is all about being aware of the present moment, experiencing our emotions impartially as they arise while simultaneously managing symptoms of stress, nervousness, anxiety, and depression.
- Mindfulness acts as an anchor to the present. Sometimes, our brains like to overthink about the past (e.g. ‘I shouldn’t have said/done that’) or the future (e.g. ‘I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay that bill on time’).By focussing on the present moment and directing attention to breathing, the body, and the senses, you can learn to let stressful thoughts and feelings come and go without letting them control your emotions.
- Cognitive changes are visible. After practising mindfulness sessions for a while, we don’t just think or act differently. Brain scans indicate that mindfulness activities change the brain’s structure, functions, and connections for the better. Some areas are affected more noticeably than others.
- It affects key areas of the brain. According to the University of Minnesota, meditation and mindfulness affect certain areas of the brain, such as;
- The frontopolar cortex: Responsible for self-awareness, thoughts, and emotions.
- Sensory cortices and insula: Responsible for body awareness.
- The hippocampus: The memory centre of the brain.
- The anterior and midcingulate and the orbitofrontal cortex: Responsible for self and emotional regulation.
- Superior longitudinal fasciculus and the corpus callosum: The parts that communicate messages within the brain.
Who Benefits From Mindfulness Exercises?
A YOGAMIGOS mindfulness session can be tailored to help with a wide range of different cognitive and physiological issues.
- How mindfulness helps anxiety. When we’re anxious, we tend to feel high levels of stress. The stress hormone cortisol activates our fight or flight response, which causes us to act instinctively without thinking about actions and consequences. Essentially, anxiety allows our emotions to control our actions, which isn’t helpful day-to-day. Mindfulness practice teaches anxious people to identify, manage, and process overwhelming feelings of anxiety without becoming distracted and reactive. It allows us to recognise anxiety when it arises and calm the mind and body before making any decisions.
- Mindfulness and depression. Both depression and anxiety can be seen as disorders of time. Anxiety causes people to worry about the future, whereas people with depression tend to dwell in the past. A YOGAMIGOS mindfulness session teaches people to bring their thoughts back to the present, which, over time, works to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Mindfulness exercises coupled with medication and regular psychology appointments could see people suffering from depression access a new quality of life.
- Mindfulness to help sleep. If you’ve tried mindfulness or meditation exercises before and have found yourself nodding off, you’re not alone. Mindfulness is fantastic for calming the mind and enjoying a great night’s sleep. When you practice mindfulness activities before bed, you’re clearing your mind of all the worries and clutter that would’ve kept you up for hours, allowing you to get a deeper, better night’s sleep.
- Can mindfulness help with weight loss? Indirectly, yes. While mindfulness alone won’t help you shed the kilos, the practice of mindfulness affects other areas of your life that may prevent you from losing weight. For example, if you eat to cope with emotional distress, mindfulness exercises can help you better regulate and manage your emotions, thereby reducing your emotional eating.
Mindfulness Exercises For All Ages
No matter how old or young you are, you can enjoy peaceful mindfulness exercises to bring your focus back to the present moment.
- Under 5 years. Take the little ones on a mindfulness walk. Go to a park or an outdoor area and ask them what they think they’ll hear. Then, walk around the area, occasionally asking the kids to close their eyes and listen to all the sounds. After a minute or two, ask them what sounds they heard and why they think they heard them.
- 6-12 years. 10 minutes of colouring in can make all the difference for a child’s mental focus and wellbeing. Let the kids choose their own pictures to colour and provide a range of materials so they can clear their minds and focus on the task at hand.
- 12-19 years. Mindful journaling encourages adolescents to be present in the moment. Ask them to write short journal entries using prompts like ‘What is one unique quality that makes you special’, ‘What is your greatest talent?’, and ‘Write about a person you admire. What are some things you both have in common?’.
- 20-30 years. Grab your favourite piece of fruit and try to take as long as you can to eat it. Take in all the flavours, scents, and textures, relishing each tiny bite you take. Try to make this last for a few minutes and enjoy being in the moment.
- 30-40 years. Clench your fists tightly for five seconds and then release, noticing how your hands feel. Try to notice the feelings for as long as possible, bringing yourself back to the moment. Keep clenching and noticing for as long as you need to.
- 40-50 years. Before you start the day, set aside a few minutes to do some intention setting exercises. Centre yourself and ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish today, both in your professional life and personal life. Start the day with a clear head and a plan, and make sure to put aside some you-time too.
- 50-60 years. Light your favourite scented candle and sit for a few minutes to watch the flame flicker. As you’re watching it, allow thoughts to enter your head, acknowledge them, and then let them pass without judgement.
- 60-70 years. Guided meditations encourage people to take a moment to clear their thoughts and breathe deeply. These meditations can go anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours, depending on your schedule.
- 70+ years. Do some deep breathing exercises while seated comfortably. Close your eyes and imagine a warm light. Every time you breathe in, the light expands, and when you breathe out, it dims again. Keep breathing until you feel content and present.
If You’d Like To Learn More About Mindfulness Sessions, YOGAMIGOS Would Love To Work With You!
At YOGAMIGOS, we believe that yoga, mindfulness, and pilates should be accessible for all Australians. That’s why we began our mobile yoga, pilates, and mindfulness business in 2012. Now, we’re proud to have a team of 100 mobile instructors across the country. We have plenty of experience offering yoga, pilates, and mindfulness sessions to clients of all ages, from the little ones right through to our senior citizens. Because YOGAMIGOS have mobile instructors, we can bring our classes to you. We can also provide our classes online. Whether you’re looking to organise a mindfulness session for school students or a Zoom session for the workplace, your wonderful YOGAMIGOS instructor is ready to share their love of yoga, pilates, and mindfulness to help you get more out of your day. If you’re interested in booking a mindfulness session, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!