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WildLunas’ Guide to Mindfulness

What better way to start our brand new blog than with the inspiring topic of mindfulness! We, at WildLunas, value mindfulness highly because the connection between body and mind is fundamental in our philosophy.

Starting today, we’ll do our best to provide useful resources and insight, so let us know if we’re doing a good job!

What Is Mindfulness

Mindfulness, in short, is the ability to bring our attention to the present moment and observe the surrounding environment without judging. It involves both awareness and acceptance. When we practice mindfulness, we truly experience the current moment, aware of where we are, without dwelling on the past or imagining the future.

Not surprisingly, due to its ever-growing popularity, mindfulness has been extensively studied. Clinical and academic research has been conducted on numerous occasions and the conclusions usually show that mindfulness helps improve a person’s overall wellbeing in various ways. For example, a study done by the University of Wisconsin found that, after just 8 weeks of training, practicing mindfulness meditation boosts our immune system’s ability to fight off illness and improves sleep quality.

One of the most popular instruments researchers use to measure mindfulness is the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale. It’s a 15-item questionnaire that indicates the levels of dispositional mindfulness – the higher the end result – the better. It takes just a few minutes to fill out but provides valuable insight.

Types of mindfulness practices

Mindfulness practices can include a wide variety of different exercises and activities. Here are some of them.

  1. Loving-kindness meditation – one of the most common mindfulness practices. It is also known as Metta meditation and promotes feelings of compassion for yourself and others.
  2. Journaling – a very powerful tool that helps you observe your thoughts and feelings. It’s easy to perform and is a judgment-free zone – writing things down will make you aware of why you are stressed, where anxiety comes from, as well as will help you understand yourself and your brain better.
  3. Mindful breathing – another way to cultivate mindfulness. the idea is to focus your attention on your own breath, on the way it feels on each inhale and exhale. It is a very powerful meditation practice that reduces stress levels in your body and decreases negative thinking.
  4. Visualization – a targeted meditation technique that involves focusing on something specific – a person, object, or goal, so as to hold your attention.
  5. Body scanning – a very powerful mindful exercise that encourages you to scan your body for areas of tension. It includes carefully imagining each part of your body from head to toe and paying attention to any sensations.
  6. Mindful movement – hands down, one of our favorite mindful practices! It involves physical exercises like stretching and yoga, which stimulate you to connect with your body and focus on the way it feels as it moves. This is precisely the type of activity WildLunas’ creations are designed for. Our activewear puts an emphasis on comfort and freedom of movement while allowing you to feel great about your body.

Benefits of Mindfulness Practices

There is a large base of evidence suggesting that people who incorporate mindfulness practices into their lives tend to report a wide variety of positive outcomes. Increased levels of happiness, acceptance, and compassion, as well as a greater sense of personal well-being, are part of the benefits. On top of that, mindfulness-based techniques can help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.

How Often Should Mindfulness Be Practiced

There is no right or wrong answer when talking about recommended frequency. There are different opinions on this topic and each of them has its strong and evidence-backed arguments. The consensus, however, is that repetition and consistent engagement are of utmost importance. Of course, you are more likely to be dedicated if you enjoy the practice, but we can guarantee that even if you don’t, you should keep going because sometimes it’s an acquired taste.

3 Simple Steps to Begin With

If you are considering to start practicing meditation you most probably have some struggles in your daily life or you simply wish to perform better.

1. Do some research and choose.

There are many types of meditation techniques and plenty of resources. Guides, apps, YouTube videos, Spotify podcasts, and real practitioners. Here are a few examples of great mobile apps to get you started: 

    1. Headspace
    2. Calm
    3. MoodFit
    4. MindShift CBT

Regardless of which form of mindfulness practice you choose to begin with, make sure that the instructor/team behind it has proper expertise and experience. You can find what motivates them to do that, check their background, and look for any shared beliefs and values. Sometimes practitioners of mindfulness may be licensed psychotherapists, but it’s not a mandatory requirement.

2. Explore.

There are so many activities that may be done mindfully. If you don’t like the technique you are currently practicing – change it, try something new. Be curious and explore the opportunities out there. Find like-minded people who have more experience and knowledge in this field, share your thoughts and feedback, look for role models, etc. If, for example, breathing exercises before sleep are not your thing, go ahead and try short mid-day meditations, morning walks, or anything else that you suspect you might find relaxing.

3. Be good to yourself.

Mindfulness is not a special talent or skill that requires you to change. It’s an intimate, rather than abstract experience. Anyone can do it and benefit from it, it takes time and practice to fully immerse yourself and reap the benefits. You don’t need to put pressure on yourself and expect great results in a short period of time.

Conclusion

Being present in the current moment might be very challenging at first. It is crucial to accept the thoughts and the feelings that appear in a non-judgmental way. Yes, it does take time to master meditation and get the most out of it, but it is definitely worth giving it a try. Mindful living can help you improve your overall well-being. The active and mindful way of life is at the core of WildLunas’ philosophy – we embed it in every fiber of our creations, so make sure you have a look at them and provide yourself with the comfort and freedom you deserve.

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