Mindfulness: A Path to Emotional Well-being

Mindfulness: A Path to Emotional Well-being

Here we are in the thick of the 2020's. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Information -- be it news, entertainment, gossip, or whatever -- appears to be taking a toll on our emotional and mental wellbeing. Rising numbers of cases of anxiety and depression are evidence of that.

So let’s talk about mindfulness, just one of the tactics you can apply in your daily life to help you cope with the world around you.

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life." - Eckhart Tolle 

What Is Mindfulness? 

At its core, mindfulness is the practice of intentional and non-judgmental attention to the present moment.

It's about observing our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and the environment with openness and curiosity.

Mindfulness is often associated with meditation, which can carry a stigma of being too hard to achieve because it’s perceived by some as “an act of not thinking”.

In truth, thinking is a natural part of the human process and plays an important part in practicing mindfulness. Being mindful encourages you to think…to learn to witness the ebb and flow of experience without getting swept away by the torrents of past regrets or potential future anxieties that can constantly plague our thinking.

You can incorporate a mindfulness practice into any and every situation. It’s not about yoga or zen moments, though those are excellent opportunities for mindful contemplation. There is no need to sit with legs crossed and eyes close or recite a mantra out loud.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been studied in the context of emotional well-being, with numerous research studies backing its effectiveness. Here's a closer look at some benefits.

Stress Reduction: Research shows that mindfulness meditation can reduce the inflammation response caused by stress. Regular practice can help lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
Anxiety and Depression Management: Mindfulness-based therapies have been found effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, often with lasting effects. When focusing on the present, we're less likely to ruminate on past events or worry about the future, breaking the samsara of negative thought patterns.
Improved Concentration and Memory: Mindfulness meditation can thicken the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain associated with cognitive functions. Leading to better concentration and memory retention.
Emotional Reactivity and Regulation: Mindfulness can help us recognize triggers and create a small pause before reacting, allowing for better emotional regulation.

Do's & Don'ts Before Starting A Meditation Session

Any time can be a good time for a bit of mindful pondering. However, a truly effective journey warrants some preparation.

  • Set aside a specific time and space for practice.
  • Approach each session with an open mind, free of expectations.
  • Be patient with yourself as mindfulness is a skill that develops over time
  • Don't get discouraged by wandering thoughts; gently guide your focus back.
  • Don't treat it as a chore or a quick fix; mindfulness is a lifelong journey.
  • Don't forget to breathe naturally, letting your body lead the way.

How Mindfulness Helps with Emotional Well-being

Mindfulness serves as a bridge to greater emotional health & intelligence by increasing awareness of our thoughts and feelings. With this heightened awareness, it lets us recognize and step back the habitual, often unconscious emotional reactions.

Over time, mindfulness creates this balanced perspective where emotions are observed with compassion rather than judgment, leading to improved stress management, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and an overall sense of peace.

Mindfulness Exercises & Breathing Techniques

Alternating Nostril Breathing

This technique helps lower cortisol and blood pressure levels by supporting the adrenal glands. Settling the mind, body and emotions while simultaneously balancing both hemispheres of the brain.

  • Take a comfortable seat. Create a long spine and open heart by sitting tall and resting your shoulder blades on your back.
  • Place your left hand comfortably in your lap and place your right hand in front of your face.
  • With your right hand, bring your index finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor.
  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
  • Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed. For a brief pause, retain your breath at the top of the inhale.
  • Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly and steadily through the right side. Briefly pause at the bottom of the exhale.
  • Inhale through the right side slowly and steadily.
  • Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb).
  • Open your left nostril and release the breath slowly and steadily through the left side. Briefly pause at the bottom of the exhale. 


Steps 4-9 is a complete cycle of this exercise, it might take 30-40 seconds to get through it if done slowly.

We cant praise this technique enough, whether it's 90 seconds, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes (the more the merrier), this technique is the easiest to pick up, and fastest way to feel a difference in your body and mind.

Try it while you read the rest of the article.

Equal Breathing

This technique helps with balancing the breath throughout the body. It can calm the nervous system and reduce stress. This form of breathing is done through the nose, which adds some slight resistance.

  1. Take a comfortable seat. Create a long spine and open heart by sitting tall and resting your shoulder blades on your back.

  2. Inhale for a count of four.

  3. Exhale for a count of four. Increase the length of the inhales and exhales by adding in either or both of the following:

  • Increase inhale/exhale to six or eight breaths.
  • Add in Ocean Breathing (ujjayi breathing):
    • Begin breathing in and out through the nose only.
    • Inhale through your nose slightly deeper than your normal inhale.
    • Exhale slowly through your nose while constricting the muscles at the back of the throat (like fogging up a window)
    • This sound will be similar to waves of the ocean.

Simple Mindfulness Hacks For Daily Life

Mindfulness can be seamlessly woven into all aspects of life. Here are some strategies for incorporating it into everyday activities:

Mindful Morning Routine

Before you open your eyes, take three deep breaths. As you inhale, mentally prepare to face the day with calmness; as you exhale, release any tension or worries. As you rise, pay attention to the sensation of your feet on the floor and the movements of your body.

Mindful Eating

Begin with observing your food, noticing the colors and shapes. Chew slowly, identifying the different flavors and textures. Put down the fork and knife between bites to savor the moment and aid digestion.

Mindful Walking

Start with a slow pace, placing one foot consciously before the other. Notice the rhythm of your walk, the swing of your arms, and the feel of the air on your skin. Use this time to connect with nature if outdoors, or be aware of the space you are in if indoors.

Mindful Listening

Clear your mind and focus solely on the speaker, ignoring internal and external distractions. Notice the tone, pitch, and pace of their speech, as well as their body language. When your mind wanders, gently return your focus to the speaker without self-judgment. 

Addressing Common Challenges

Staying consistent with mindfulness practice can be difficult. Here's how to overcome some common challenges:

Time Constraints

Utilize micro-mindfulness practices, such as one-minute breathing exercises, which can be done anywhere, anytime. Incorporate mindfulness into routine activities, like showering or commuting, to utilize time effectively.

Lack of Motivation

Set small, achievable goals to build a sense of accomplishment. Keep a mindfulness journal to track progress and reflect on the benefits you're experiencing.


As you can see, there are plentiful options for your approach to mindfulness and peaceful reflection. No one way is more or less right. Choose what feels right to you.

In the embrace of mindfulness, each moment is an opportunity to cultivate a deeper connection with oneself and the world. As we walk the path of mindful awareness, we unlock the potential for enduring emotional well-being, transforming not only how we experience life but also how we engage with it.

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