Last Updated: December 3, 2021, 9:22 am

OPINION | Mindfulness: Best practice for mental health


Practicing mindfulness, being aware of mental and physical health as well as meditations, results in positive changes in life. Graphic by Misha Mosiichuk.

Focus on yourself, focus on your thoughts, and be in tune with your feelings — this is how you can achieve the best mental state possible for you.

According to Mindful, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

It’s about being in tune with yourself, your body, your mind, and what is going on around you. Being aware and “in the moment” will be powerful which can make a difference in your life for the better.

Having a sense of awareness will improve your mental health by reducing your stress which, likely, most of your stressors are about future situations. If you’re able to be in and accept the present moment, you will not worry about future happenings.

Psychology Today states: “As mindfulness shifted into mainstream science and medicine, it became a pivotal therapeutic technique; it was integrated into Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, among others.”

The ability to be mindful is a quality all humans have, it is something you can find within yourself. We all have the ability to practice mindfulness. It may take practice and repetition to fully get it down and notice a difference, but everyone has the ability to partake in mindfulness.

According to Help Guide, mindfulness is about accepting the current state of you, not judging your emotions, feelings or thoughts. The ability to be accepting of your current state is so healthy and will allow you to feel happier and more present in your day full of activities.

“Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events,” Help Guide states.

Here are a couple of the ways I like to add mindfulness to my day.

  • YouTube is a great resource to find guided meditations. In the search bar you can type in “mindfulness meditation.” In the video there will be a voice guiding you through mindfulness practices. It includes specific meditations for bedtime, morning time, middle of the day, etc.
  • Journaling is a way to get the thoughts that are swirling around in your head out of there and on paper. Whether you use a gratitude journal or a journal of your day, it can help you to be in-tune with your feelings and emotions. This is also a great way to have self-care time as you are essentially self-talking when you journal.
  • Going on walks can do wonders for you, mentally. Whether you like to go with a friend, by yourself and listening to the sounds of nature, or tuning into your favorite podcast to listen to while walking, all will be beneficial and make a difference. This is also a great way to add physical movement into your day which will also improve your mental health.
  • Be in tune with your breathing patterns. Focus on your breathing if you are feeling overwhelmed because this is the best way to recuperate yourself and be mindful of your body and the energy it is releasing.

According to Mayo Clinic, practicing mindfulness exercises can help you direct your attention away from all of life’s stressors and engage with the world and space around you.

Mayo Clinic states: “Aim to practice mindfulness every day for about six months. Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.”

Adding mindfulness practices to your day will increase your mental health state immensely. Start today, begin the journey of acceptance and peace. Once you find and realize there is a safe headspace for you to be where you can forget all of the things circulating in your head like planning, problem-solving and negative thoughts, you have achieved mindfulness.