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Benefits of a practicing mindfulness and positive mindset

A holistic approach to health and wellbeing should include mindfulness exercises and a positive mindset.

March 13, 2024

Benefits of a practicing mindfulness and positive mindset

A holistic approach to health and wellbeing should include mindfulness exercises and a positive mindset.

March 13, 2024

Benefits of a practicing mindfulness and positive mindset

A holistic approach to health and wellbeing should include mindfulness exercises and a positive mindset.

March 13, 2024

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness definition

People who want to improve their overall health and wellbeing need to think about more than simply diet and exercise. They need to think about the actual thing that’s doing the thinking – their mind.

A holistic approach to health and wellbeing needs to include mental health as well as physical health, and one way to address that is through mindfulness and a positive mindset.

What is mindfulness? You undoubtedly have heard the term before – it was a $5.4 billion market in 2022 comprising books, apps, classes, corporate wellness programs and more. But that doesn’t mean you can recite a mindfulness definition.

Rooted in Buddhist and Hindu teachings, mindfulness means being fully present and aware of where we are in the moment – not thinking about the past or the future – and identifying what we are thinking, sensing or feeling in an objective, nonjudgmental way.

Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you avoid thought spirals that might lead to occasional stress or anxiety, such as worrying about the future, rehashing past events, or stressing over things beyond your control.

It can help you learn how to respond wisely to things that happen to you rather than letting your instant reactions take control. And some research shows it can also help reduce stress and anxiety and improve working memory and focus.

How to practice mindfulness: Mindfulness exercises

There are several ways to practice mindfulness. It can be as simple as taking a moment or an everyday task and using it to focus your mind, like the time you spend brushing your teeth or drinking a cup of coffee or tea.

During those activities, make the extra time to focus on all the sensations associated with the task – what do you see, smell, hear or taste? What do things feel like and what feelings are you having? If your mind wanders, simply bring it back to the present. All that focus grounds you in the present moment and makes you more aware of your own body and your immediate environment.

There are also more intentional mindfulness exercises, including breathing techniques, muscle relaxation exercises and mindfulness apps that use guided meditations. Let’s take a closer look at some of those.

Diaphragmatic breathing techniques

Did you know there are different ways to breathe? As the name suggests, diaphragmatic breathing focuses on using the diaphragm while breathing deeply and slowly to allow you to expand your lungs to their full capacity. This differs from shallower chest breathing, which doesn’t fill the lungs completely.

Sometimes called abdominal breathing or belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing is a common directive from yoga instructors or other fitness classes. It also has been shown in studies to benefit physical and mental health, including alleviating stress and anxiety. And it becomes a common mindfulness exercise when combined with focusing on your sensations and feelings while doing it.

Here are the basics of diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Wear comfortable clothes and get yourself in a comfortable position, either lying down with knees bent or sitting comfortably with knees bent.
  2. Put one hand on your chest. (This hand should remain as still as possible while breathing.) Put the other hand just below your rib cage. (This hand should move as you breathe in and out.)
  3. Inhale through your nose allowing your stomach to expand with breath.
  4. Exhale through your mouth, tightening your stomach muscles as you empty your lungs.

Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is another mindfulness exercise that can be done almost anywhere. It’s the practice of focusing on each muscle in your body, one after another, by first tensing or flexing it and then relaxing it. Combined with breathing and examining how your muscles feel after releasing them, it can help reduce stress, improve relaxation and support overall wellbeing. Ready to try it?

Here are instructions for progressive muscle relaxation:

  1. Get in a comfortable, relaxed position (ideally lying down), close your eyes and take a few diaphragmatic breaths.
  2. Bring awareness to a specific muscle in your body. Inhale while contracting the muscle, holding for 2-5 seconds.
  3. Focus on how the muscle feels and visualize it while contracted.
  4. Relax the muscle while breathing out for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Picture the muscle in its relaxed state. Notice the sensations and imagine tension decreasing with each breath.
  6. Repeat systematically from head to toe or toe to head with every muscle in your body.

Mindfulness apps

If you think you want a little more guidance to start practicing mindfulness, there is no shortage of mindfulness apps that offer to help you with guided meditations or instructions for various mindfulness exercises.

Research suggests they can have a positive effect, including with occasional depression and anxiety. Some offer self-guided practices while others are more tutorial. Read the reviews to see which ones might be right for wherever you are in your mindfulness practice.

Benefits of a positive mindset

As we said at the beginning of this article, taking care of your mind is a key part of your overall health and wellbeing, and that includes having a positive mindset. Research shows that mindfulness can help create a positive mindset by learning how to accept present circumstances or using mindfulness exercises to focus on gratitude or self-recognition.

Self-recognition promotes a positive mindset

You can also help create a positive mindset by practicing self-recognition in general. Basically, don’t be so hard on yourself. Experts say you shouldn’t say anything to yourself or about yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.

Instead, be kind to yourself with positive self-talk. Are you trying to adopt a new healthy routine but didn’t check any of your boxes today? No worries. Just start fresh tomorrow. Congratulate yourself on reaching interim goals or other daily achievements.

Do negative thoughts about yourself frequently enter your mind? Evaluate them and balance them out with some positive self-talk about things that are good about you. Identify very specific, genuine, positive statements about yourself. Is your hair straight out of a shampoo commercial? Do you love your skin? Great posture? Make a list and remind yourself of all the great things you’ve got going for you.

Place that list where you will see it often, whether that be on your bathroom mirror or on your phone’s home screen. This will remind you to show yourself compassion and understanding for who you are and what you have been through.

Improved sleep quality can support a positive mindset

You likely know from personal experience that being tired can often lead to being cranky and that is the opposite of a positive mindset. So making sure you get enough sleep is another step you can take to support a positive mindset.

But did you know that research showed that having a positive mindset can also help improve sleep quality? And that mindfulness can also help improve sleep? Yup, everything is related. Getting a handle on sleep is a good place to start, as it is key to your overall health and wellbeing.

Try creating a specific waking and sleeping schedule to regulate your body clock, including a bedtime routine that helps you wind down. You can also try some sleep supplements to help you relax so you can fall asleep. Need more sleep tips? Check out these nine tips to improve sleep quality.

Healthy habits lead to holistic wellness

Looking for some guidance to help you adopt healthy habits like mindfulness and a positive mindset? Consider a structured plan like the Nutrilite™ Reset 30 Program. The 30-day program helps you make simple lifestyle changes that can lead to holistic wellness.

Reset 30 focuses on improving four key lifestyle areas that all work together to support your holistic wellness: a positive mindset, good nutrition, healthy hydration and physical activity. It comes with all the guidance, tools and product recommendations you need, including an assessment, a habit tracking system and community support from others in the program.

You can learn more from an Amway Independent Business Owner or by visiting Amway.com.