Did you ever notice that after a drive to run errands on a busy day, when you’ve been going over what feels like a millions to-do’s in your head, that you didn’t even notice that the rose bushes in your yard are in full bloom or that your significant other got a new haircut? We can probably all relate to not living in the present moment.
Did you also know that by not focusing on living in the present, you are actually decreasing your happiness level and well-being? Being mindful and present in the moment can help contribute to a feeling of being satisfied with our life. When we are fully engaged in the here and now, we tend to not worry about the future as much, not think about past regrets, or even be concerned over what we are or aren’t doing with our lives. We are too busy enjoying the current activity and building relationships to have time for those negative thoughts to creep in.
Our physical health can benefit from mindfulness too. Our thoughts, emotions and past life experiences can all have a very powerful effect on our current level of health. Which is why the practice of mindfulness, being aware of the present moment and acknowledging our feelings, thoughts, and sensations in this very moment, can add so much value to our health. Physically, it can help us keep a lower stress level, increase our immune systems, and improve our sleep.
Because we need to learn to acknowledge and accept our emotions and experiences in a mindfulness practice, we learn to accept our feelings in everyday life situations, rather than avoid them and keep them bottled up. This in turn will help our mental health in a positive way. Being able to fully appreciate and accept our true self not only takes a huge stress away, but also leads to an overall feeling of joy and can improve our relationships with others. It has also been found to help less the symptoms of certain mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
While a practice of mindfulness may not be a cure for all issues, it can help us to begin the healing process of emotional, mental and physical challenges. If you are interested in putting this healing practice in your own life, the Village has a new Healing Power of Mindfulness therapy group. It is a therapeutic yoga group, designed to encourage mindfulness and present moment focus as well as connecting you to your mind, body and breath, using vinyasa yoga flow. This will be an on-going group that will combine the tools of yoga and therapy to focus on external and internal tensions that we encounter daily in social relationships and within ourselves.